San Angelo

Interpretive Guide

brochure San Angelo - Interpretive Guide
© BOB ZELLER INTERPRETIVE GUIDE © CAROL HOLBERT @ CAROL MICHELE PHOTOGRAPHY HOME TO THE LARGEST PORTION OF OUR TEXAS STATE LONGHORN HERD, SAN ANGELO STATE PARK OFFERS AN UP-CLOSE LOOK AT THIS TEXAS TREASURE AS WELL AS A SMALL HERD OF BISON. ALONG WITH OPPORTUNITIES FOR SOLITUDE AND ADVENTURE YOU’LL HILLS, ENCOUNTER PRAIRIES, HARDWOOD RIVER BOTTOMS AND O.C. FISHER LAKE WHICH PROVIDE HABITAT FOR Visiting San Angelo State Park opens a world of exploration to Concho Country waterways, wildlife and Texas history. Please remember to preserve and protect park resources for future generations by following these Leave No Trace principles and regulations: Keep Wildlife Wild – Please don’t feed or harass wildlife, bison or the cattle Trash Your Trash – It’s ugly and can make wildlife sick Take Only Memories and Pictures – Leave all plants, wildlife, rocks and artifacts Be Safe – In case of emergency, know where you are in case you need to call for help Protect Your Pets – They must be on a leash no less than six feet and cleaned up after Be Kind to Other Visitors – Yield to visitors on horse and watch out for mountain bikers San Angelo State Park 3900-2 Mercedes Road , San Angelo, TX 76901 (325) 949-4757 • Follow us on Facebook! AN ARRAY OF WILDLIFE. OVER 60 MILES OF TRAILS LET VISITORS Cover photo © Carol Holbert @ Carol Michele Photography EXPERIENCE THE PARK ON FOOT, BICYCLE OR HORSE. Proud Sponsor of Texas Parks and Wildlife Programs © 2018 TPWD. PWD BR P4506-0166F (7/18) In accordance with Texas State Depository Law, this publication is available at the Texas State Publications Clearinghouse and/or Texas Depository Libraries. TPWD receives funds from the USFWS. TPWD prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, disability, age, and gender, pursuant to state and federal law. To request an accommodation or obtain information in an alternative format, please contact TPWD on a Text Telephone (TDD) at (512) 389-8915 or by Relay Texas at 7-1-1 or (800) 735-2989. If you believe you have been discriminated against by TPWD, please contact TPWD or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office for Diversity and Workforce Management, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041. Texas State Parks is a division of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. SAN ANGELO STATE PARK S A N A N G E L O S T A T E P A R K © CAROL HOLBERT @ CAROL MICHELE PHOTOGRAPHY WATER BRINGS LIFE The Concho River and its tributaries, such as the North Concho River which flows through San Angelo State Park, spread through the valley like veins, providing the area’s lifeblood – water. Historic Native American groups were drawn to the lush resources of Concho Country but none held the land for extended periods of time. In spring Jumano peoples left their winter home in Texas’ Big Bend region for Concho Country to hunt bison, deer and fish the river and tributaries. In the fall they harvested pecans, honey and root plants and returned home in the winter. San Angelo State Park is home to the only known petroglyph (rock carving) sites along the Concho River. Archeologists believe that these petroglyphs were carved 400-800 years ago, possibly by the Kiowa or Comanche. Early Spanish explorers named the Concho River, Spanish for “shell,” after its abundant freshwater mussels, an important food supply. A gift from these mussels are the prized Concho Pearls, unique because of their iridescent light pink to deep purple color. In 1867, nearby Fort Concho was established to protect area settlers and westward travelers. In 1947, construction began for the lake to help with soil erosion and flood control. In 1975 the lake was named for Ovie Clark Fisher, a U.S. Congressman who served 32 years in the U.S. House of Representatives for Texas’ 21st Congressional District. San Angelo State Park opened to the public in 1995. © SCOTT GARTMAN O.C. Fisher Lake One of the Texas State Longhorn Herd TEXAS TREASURES Proudly roaming the park, a true Texas treasure, part of the Texas State Longhorn Herd represents the independence and hardiness of Texans. They descended from Spanish cattle brought by explorers around the late 1500s. Escapee cattle ventured out on their own and adapted to Texas scrub country by the rule we know as: “survival of the fittest.” After the Civil War, Texas Veterans came home to a state without much of an economy, but millions of free-range Texas Longhorn. Feeding a hungry country after the war, Texans and other cowboys began to rustle up longhorn and drive them north on the nearby Goodnight-Loving Trail to Kansas City for processing. This strengthened the Texas and American economy for several years. As free range began to close off, Texas Longhorn were barb-wired in and bred with other cattle, nearly to the point of extinction. In 1936 Sid Richardson funded Texas historian J. Frank Dobie and Graves Peeler to round up a herd of purebred longhorns. By 1941 he selected 20 longhorn as a base herd. They went to Fort Griffin State Historic Site and later became the official Texas State Longhorn Herd. The majority of the official herd are thriving at San Angelo State Park for all Texans and park visitors to experience. PERMIAN PAST O ver 250 million years ago during the Permian Period, present day San Angelo State Park looked radically different. All continents were a single, large land mass called Pangea and much of Texas was covered by a shallow sea. The climate was shifting from the mild, wet climate of the “Age of Amphibians” to a hotter, drier one. Reptiles began to expand their ranges and take over the planet. Synapsids, like dimetrodon, were the predecessors of mammals and also roamed the earth during the Permian Period making tracks and leaving fossils behind. They are thought to have made some of the 26 different trackways in Little Foot Draw of San Angelo State Park around 100 million years before the dinosaurs. Only a few trackways from this time exist around the world. They tell the story of these ancient creatures that came before us. San Angelo State Park staff protect these tracks for future generations to explore. Dimetrodon may have left tracks in Little Foot Draw.

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