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Delicious Seafood & Beef ,/fe vo4 1.6.0 -.41-.44,frti=49.11,1 tki .6f441 Arrie 4 it itAto -p4 r _ ,R\\10, ,affi 4-40,5,AZ,4.404t4r 4, . 154,,,NAFT,4t, f” ,14V. es Awietteri14, ‘ pak-L, `%7I7P 4:4’1.0.Xt li erOgke ‘4 , ‘ 4 10,,A-gpf, -kt 46 44 40.4pii ,… LUNCH DINNER SUNDAY BRUNCH 1:411V. PA. 14 cc..-Fnr, -mits ir r , ”’f i gf /7″\(g -cii 11,1′ 76-1114791′ %Itk44:’ I4.4.07.40rererd””. itiOsto.” 1.10,i%. 0 i it s tairr r ilite ^s , 11_ 6 ’41 iv i surzminGANs 414 BARTON SPRINGS AT SOUTH 1ST AUSTIN, TEXAS 512/476 4838 ing. But on one score, the book makes me sad. It is written as though the Thicket would last forever. There is no voice protesting the destruction of the Thicket by the giant, out-of-state lumbering interests that are bulldozing their way through an ecological gem. The debris is chemically burned and the ground poisoned with compounds so that no plant life will grow save the vast stands of plantation pines that feed the pulp paper mills and create a virtual biological desert. Thicket vandalism Of the Big Thicket’s original 3.5 million acres, something less than 300,000 acres survive, and the cutting and destruction continues today. University presses have printed beautiful art books, legend books, and novels about the Big Thicket, but they seldom take notice of the vandalism that has been going on for decades and which has quickened to a frantic pace as the spoilers and destroyers see the people of the Big Thicket fighting to save a small part of their heritage. The Big Thicket Association was formed forty years ago, principally by local people, to work for the establishment of a park of more than 300,000 acres, an area just large enough to give future generations a true view of the Big Thicket. Success seemed possible but World War II intervened. Then came the postwar boom, a rapidly changing economy, and absentee corporate ownership of Thicket timberland. The prospects for a preserve dimmed. Alarmed at the rate of destruction, the Big Thicket Association was reactivated in the 1960s with some of its original members. Gov . Price Daniel tried to persuade the Texas Legislature to consider a Big Thicket state park, but no House or Senate committee moved so far as an inch on the proposal. In 1966, a Big Thicket National Park bill was introduced in the U.S. Senate. The timber lobby was so well organized that hearings were delayed until 1970, when the Big Thicket bill finally passed the Senate, but died in the House. Congressman Bob Eckhardt kept the issue alive until Charles Wilson was elected in the U.S. House district that included the Big Thicket and began to push for a park on his own. The Big Thicket Association, less than a thousand strong and with little money, continued to fight some of the strongest economic and political powers in Texas with energy, sacrifice, high intelligence and everincreasing militancy. Finally, on Oct. 12, 1974, President Ford signed a bill authorizing a Big Thicket National Preserve of 84,550 acres. `Save the Thicket’ The battle goes on. Only about onefourth of the area set apart by Congress for preservation has been bought by the Park Service. Cutting continues in those portions of the preserve still in private hands. The lumbermen have shown no mercy, either to the land or the people whose heritage is being destroyed. Meanwhile, the Park Service seems slow to act to those whose plea is “Save the Thicket.” Pete Gunter of North Texas State University’s philosophy department has documented the inexcusable extent of the cutting and destruction in The Big Thicket: a Challenge for Conservation.. Several firms rejected the book before the Jenkins Publishing Co. of Austin printed it. It was an act of great courage for John Jenkins to publish Pete Gunter in the face of threats from powerful economic forces interested in suppresiing information about the Thicket. Jenkia is descended from men who fought in the Texas revolution, and the threats ironed his will. The book is in print, and its textual and photographic account of the ravishing of the land is as sorrowful as it is eloquent. More Big Thicket books are coming off the presses, but one manuscript in particular, a recounting of the long, hard fight to save the Thicket and block the TEXAS WILD The Land, Plants, and Animals of the Lone Star State by Richard Phelan, photographs by Jim Bones, Texas Wild, a book as beautiful and extraordinary as Texas itself, explores region by region the land, the plants and the animals of the Lone Star State. From mountain desert to swampy woodland, from rolling prairie to the semi-tropics, Phelan and Bones celebrate in words and pictures a land of unique and dramatic diversity. Highlighting the geography and the natural history are fascinating tales from the state’s colorful past. “Intelligent, readable, informed, informative … covers a tremendous lot of material with a grasp that indicates solid knowledge and research … such an overall and unchauvinistic treatment of physical and natural Texas has long been needed.” John Graves “A splendid tour … this is excellent armchair travel.” Publishers Weekly 64 pages of full-color photographs, 100 drawings, 8 maps, 8 3/8″ x 10 3/4″, oversize format. GARNER & SMITH BOOKSTORE 2116 Guadalupe Austin, Texas 78705 Please send of Texas Wild at $30.00 per cop remittance enclosed charge my account Nam\( Addres, City State_ Zip Please add appropriate salex tax & 75,1 postage per copy. 20 THE TEXAS OBSERVER