Journal of Northeast Texas Archeology
The National Forests and Grasslands of Texas began a project in 1994 for ecosystem management involving multiple disciplines in an holistic approach to resource inventories. We first began with an intensive archival study of the forest acquisition files and the General Land Office (GLO) files in an effort to identify the western limits of the longleaf pine at the time of initial Anglo-American settlement ca. 1850. Vegetation information was gleaned from this work along with an understanding of the historical occupation of the area, aided by plotting this information onto USGS 7.5' maps overlain by the historic Tobin landownership maps. We have since narrowed our focus from the mosaic of a broad area, to the headwaters of the Piney Creek watershed, an area rich in prehistory and history. Archeological survey has provided data for prehistoric occupations dating to the Early Ceramic period (ca. A.D. 500). More recent deed records, and subsequent landline surveys, have data on witness trees in the 1830s, 1860s, and 1890s, and then again after the Forest Service acquired the land in the 1930s, offering an opportunity to study specie composition over a 100 year period. This study on specie composition, tree density, and basal area, provides preliminary indications that fire suppression in the historic period significantly altered the forest composition.
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