From Stygian Blackness to Community Asset: A History of the Trinity River

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There have been three periods of permanent human occupation of the Upper Trinity River basin. For most of the last 11,000 years only Native Americans have lived here. These first citizens hunted, fished and lived with nature … they made no substantive changes to the land or water resources … and they thought it would always be that way.

The colonists began arriving in the mid-1800’s. They soon divided into ranchers raising cattle on the western prairies and farmers raising cotton on the eastern blacklands – cows and plows. They used the lands for their agricultural livelihood … they made no substantive changes to the water resources … and they thought it would always be that way.

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