Historic Research/Resource Reports

These reports cover various aspects of the Big Bend's cultural resources, or were instrumental in influencing park management. All of these publications are freely distributed by the National Park Service.

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Longhorns of the Big Bend (1962)
Written by noted NPS historian Robert Utley, this report provides an overview of the early cattle industry in the greater Big Bend region. Includes information related to Fort Davis. Read it!

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The Big Bend of the Rio Grande: A Guide to the Rocks, Geologic History, and Settlers of the Area of Big Bend National Park (1968)
Written by Dr. Ross Maxwell, who served as the first superintendent of the park, this book contains a stunning amount of detail on many subjects. Read it!

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Hot Springs Historic Structures Report (1968)
Summary of historic resources in the Hot Springs area, based largely on J.O. Langford's memoir. Includes historic photographs and a couple of inaccurate statements. Read it!

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Soldiers, Ranchers and Miners in the Big Bend (1968)
Written in three parts by regional historian Clifford Casey, this report details the Glenn Springs Raid of 1916, the Homer Wilson Ranch, and the Mariscal Mine. This report contains a wealth of material regarding the early 20th Century history of the Big Bend region. Read it!

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The Impact of Human Use Upon the Chisos Basin and Adjacent Lands (1974)
This report documents the condition of the Chisos Basin in the early 1970s, after forty years of impacts related to park development. Also includes recommendations to alleviate negative impacts, many of which have been implemented in the decades since the report was published. Read it!

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The Mather-Albright Years: National Parks Come to America (1980)
Written by the park's second superintendent, Lon Garrison, and originally published by the Big Bend Natural History Association, this short book provides a short, personal perspective on the early years of the National Park Service. Read it!

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Ecology of the Carmen Mountains White-Tailed Deer of the Big Bend (1981)
Research report exploring the distribution, habitat, food habits and other topics related to the population of the Carmen Mountains white-tailed deer who reside in the Chisos Mountains. Read it!

Cover of Presidios of the Big Bend area

Presidios of the Big Bend Area (1990)
Based on field work at Presidio sites in Mexico in the mid-1980s, this report provides context and conditions on two Spanish Presidios in the Big Bend area. Read it!

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Landscape of Ghosts, River of Dreams: An Administrative History of Big Bend National Park (2002)
The most recent work on the history of the park, the administrative history focuses on the establishment of the park and management decisions that have influenced the park. Devotes many chapters to the 1930s and 40s. Read it!

Last updated: May 4, 2022

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Big Bend National Park, TX 79834-0129



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