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4WEGBOOY\\SATEASVPs DALLAS BIG MAIN STORE: 4528 McKinney Dallas, To 75205 DOWNTOWN. Austin Alley across from El Centro College 711 Elm Dallas, To 75202 FORT WORTH 3306 Fairfield in Riarilea Cntr oft ,ortn, To 76116 AUSTIN vAIN STORE. 1514 Lavaca Austin, Tx 78701 6103 Burnet RO AostIn, Tx 78757 1914 E. Riverside Austin, 7 k 78741 FARMER’S BRANCH Farmer ., Branch Shoo Cott Valley View er JOS, Ln Farmer’s Branch, Tx 75234 GARLAND 1560 N ….iv Garland, Tx 75041 HOUSTON 1408 Hyde Park Houston. To 77006 820 FM 1960 Hooston, Tx 77090 2537 University Hooston, Tk 77005 KILLEEN 3327 Hancier Killeen. in 76541 HURST 1101415u Snori Cntr 436 L Pipeline 110 Horst, lx 76053 PLANO 1010 C 1510 St 1114101, T. 73074 RICHARDSON 506 Lockwood nard,nn. Tx 75080 SAN ANTONIO 3207 Broadway `,.in Antonio. T x 76209 1408 Calta9 1,0 .40 5710 Antonin, is 70728 TEMPLE 2700 5 L000 363 emple Scuove Temple, Ty 76501 WACO 807 N valley mills ill There’s more to us than many people realize Like our big selection of back issue magazines some are real collectors’ items Like our new and used hardcover books on an amazing range of subjects And now. like our growing record department. with new and used LP’s for a variety of musical tastes And you thought we were lust second-hand paperbacks , GRIVEGBOOlcSaF ATIRs GOOD MORNING ON THE RIVER! Serving Antoiitos ,to Zucchini \(Breakfast, Nachos, Burgers. Chili. Hot Dogs, 7:30 a.m. until Midnight 225-4098 511 Rivcrwalk Across from the Kangaroo Court San Antonio, Texas WE SELL AND BUY ANYTHING PRINTED OR RECORDED END RESTAURANT daries; with the sharp inflation in Southeast Texas land prices, the purchases will end up costing the federal government far more in the long run. Given the present situation in Washington, conservationists are beginning to wonder when or if the remaining acreage will ever be purchased. Landry believes Congress will buy most of it, but the climate is stormy. This impasse gives rise to at least two scenarios. Landowners might, if frustrated ad infinitum, begin to cut or subdivide unpurchased preserve woodlands. Still worse, Republican administrators might decide that the uncompleted preserve belongs in the hands of the state of Texas or even that parts of it should be given back to those hardworking entrepreneurs, the lumber companies. Such scenarios are, hopefully, exaggerated, but they continue to lurk in the darker corridors of the conservationists’ The ghosts will not be laid until the last acre is purchased and the preserve is such a fixture in the minds of Texans that no politician would consider touching its pristine wilderness. In the meantime other troubles, literally, pour in. Some derive from the South Hampton Refining Co. of Silsbee, which regularly pours toxic substances into Village Creek and which has petitioned the Texas Department of Water Resources to increase its permitted effluent from 20,000 to 127,000 gallons per day. Village Creek, probably the best canoeing stream in East Texas, flows through the Turkey Creek Unit of the national preserve and fronts both the aridsandland donation and the new Big Thicket State Park. The state park, just downstream from the refinery, would be seriously damaged if the South Hampton Refining Co. was allowed a sixfold effluent increase. The creek would be degraded from one of Texas’ prettiest to one of its sickest. Some 20 miles to the southwest, salt water seeping from a sink hole in the Sour Lake oil field has begun to spill into nearby Clements Creek, which flows into the Pine Island Bayou Corridor of the Thicket preserve. It does not take an overdeveloped ecological sensitivity to realize the havoc salt water can wreak in a fresh water stream. Meanwhile residents who have built near the bayou continue to press for ditching, leveeing, and vegetation removal to make its floodplain safe for real estate development \(if that is possible for a stream that floods one-half mile wide at least twice a There should be more than one Big Thicket State Park in Southeast Texas. The region’s massive population growth clearly creates a growing need for open spaces, including both recreational and biological areas, and the Thicket, with its many open streams and its biological wealth, provides a natural locale. There are also areas like the palmetto lowlands, on upper Pine Island Bayou below state Highway 770 and less than five miles west of the Lance Rosier Unit, which could be donated to the National Park Service or to private sources to add several thousand more acres to the catalogue of protected areas. \(The palmetto lowlands are at present owned by Texaco, Sun Oil, and other interests, which have kept their distance from conDoubtless others concerned with and knowledgeable about the region could suggest other possiblities. But all such possibilities are only so many visions until organized, stubborn people get down to the work of realizing them. At present, such work has ceased. It will have to begin again. It would be nice if, as in soms.sweet May wine operetta, the two contingents of the Big Thicket Association ‘could make up and forget past bitterness. The rancor, however, cuts too deep, and the directions of the two contingents continue to contrast too sharply. For the forseeable future the best that can be hoped is that the “locals” can work happily on their museum and on tourism, while the “outsiders” vigorously pursue the conservationist goals which they consider paramount. Towards this goal the outsiders are creating a Big Thicket Conservation Association \(P.O. Box 12032, Beaumont, Texas 77706, dues $5 the policies that made the Big Thicket Preserve a reality. The new association, whose president is Bill Hallmon of Daland a purely conservationist focus. Now, then, 17 years after 1964, there are two Big Thicket groups, the BTA of and the new BTCA of Saratoga, Texas.* Some, like this writer, will attempt to belong to both, while others will have to make their choices. In no case will the choices be entirely happy. The Battle of the Big Thicket is not entirely won, it could still be lost, just as the hard-won gains of the environmental movement in this country could be lost, to the grief of our descendants. It is time to retire from spectator ethics and to get back to the messy, problematic, unpleasant fight. *There is even a third group if one wants to include the new Village Creek Preservation Assn., P.O. Box 153, Silsbee, Texas 77656. THE TEXAS OBSERVER 15