The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 55, July 1951 - April, 1952 Page: 138
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Galveston and Corpus Christi that were once inhabited by the
giant Karinkawa Indians, who gradually disappeared after the
Europeans came in. Mr. Bedichek is interested in the relation-
ship between soil, water, vegetation, animals, and men in this
region and in the larger region forming the complete watershed.
These are the historical end terms: a deep topsoil-a land sub-
ject to both erosion and covering by poor clay; clear streams
and coastal waters-muddy streams and bays filling or filled with
silt; heavy prairie grasses-decreasing grass coverage, with en-
croaching brush; an abundance of fish and oysters-fewer fish
and silted-over oyster beds; great numbers of all kinds of land
and water birds and other animal life-widespread reduction of
wild life and threatened extinction of some species; Indians
living as a part of the economy of nature-white men working
profound changes with their guns, plows, bulldozers, and oil
rigs. As a naturalist Mr. Bedichek deplores what has happened
to the Karinkaway country, and he makes valuable suggestions
for the restoration and conservation of life and land in the
Only on a limited scale can anything like primitive conditions
be restored. Mr. Bedichek describes and evaluates what has been
done in the Aransas National Wild Life Refuge above Corpus
Christi. Here a great deal has been accomplished, including the
breeding of the fast-dying whooping crane in captivity, but water-
fowl are subject to slaughter around the boundaries of the refuge.
Mr. Bedichek suggests the establishment of a refuge for the once
numerous prairie chickens of the Bernard Prairie.
The problem of conservation in the Karinkawa country nec-
essarily involves the upper part of the watershed. Insisting that
a river must be treated as a whole, Mr. Bedichek points out that
Texas is fortunate in having the sources of its rivers within its
own borders. In Coleman County he presents an example of
what can be done when the drainage system and the extent of
the county happen to coincide: here the "little waters" are re-
tained or restrained by many small dams built across gullies and
creeks. In Dickens County, just below the caprock in West Texas,
a twenty-year experiment has shown that run-off can be stopped
completely, even in years when rainfall doubles the average. As
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 55, July 1951 - April, 1952, periodical, 1952; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101139/m1/162/: accessed June 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.