From the Annals of the Extinct – In 2000, part of what is now the Waco Mammoth National Monument opened. The WMNM is at a site where a herd of mammoths were trapped during a flood about 68,000 years ago. The area contains the remains of 24 Columbian Mammoths, along with the remains of associated animals of the late Pleistocene, including Western Camel (Camelops hesternus), saber-toothed cat (Homotherium), dwarf antelope (cf. Capromeryx), American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis), and giant tortoise (Hesperotestudo). The site contain the Nation’s only recorded discovery of a nursery herd (females and offspring) of Pleistocene mammoths, comprising at least 18 of the unearthed mammoths.
From the Annals of the National Treasures – In 1968, Lady Bird Johnson dedicated Padre Island National Seashore. Padre Island is the largest barrier island in the U.S. and PINS is the longest seashore in the national park system. Protecting this precious resource was not easy. Texas attempted to establish a state park on Padre Island beginning in 1936. The effort failed in a contentious struggle between public and private interests over ownership of the land. In 1958, Sen. Ralph Yarborough (D-Texas) introduced a bill to establish a national park on the island, and the proposal was finally signed into law in 1962. The dedication of the park followed five years of condemnation proceedings.
From the Annals of LBJ – In 1967, the President’s Ranch Trail was dedicated in Wimberley. The 90 mile route includes places in Hays, Blanco and Gillespie counties that were important in the life of Pres. Lyndon B. Johnson. It extends from the LBJ Ranch, located on Ranch Road 1 near Stonewall, to San Marcos. From the ranch two approaches are possible to Blanco, from which the main route extends to San Marcos: one, referred to as the north branch, proceeds from Ranch Road 1 via U.S. Highway 290 through Hye to Johnson City, then to Blanco via U.S. Highway 281; the other approach, referred to as the south branch, leads from the ranch to Stonewall and reaches Blanco by means of Albert on Ranch Road 1623. The route from Blanco to San Marcos leads via Ranch roads 165 and 2325 through Wimberley, where Ranch Road 12 leads to San Marcos.
Photo of the Western White Houston from the National Park Service.