Established 1974 | Hardin, Polk, and Tyler Counties | 113,122 acres
Established 1974 | Hardin, Polk, Tyler, Jasper, Liberty, and San Jacinto Counties | 113,122 acres
The Alabama-Coushatta tribe was first to establish permanent settlements in the Big Thicket, migrating in the late eighteenth century amid growing pressures from Anglo American colonization. Efforts to protect the area's natural beauty and biological diversity began in 1927 with the founding of the East Texas Big Thicket Association. Congress would not authorize the creation of a national preserve until 1974, however, by which time much of the original Big Thicket had been devastated by lumber and oil production. In this 1970 educational film segment, naturalist Campbell Loughmiller explores what gives the Big Thicket—a UNESCO-recognized biosphere reserve—its "unique ecological character."