Fort Davis National Historic Site in Texas is one of the best examples of a frontier fort in the Southwest, widely recognized for its role in the history of the “Buffalo Soldiers,” African Americans who served in the frontier Army. Undeveloped and historic views help tell the story of Army life on the American frontier. The views at Fort Davis are just as much a part of the experience as the fort itself. Wide-open vistas help park visitors experience the frontier as the soldiers did in the nineteenth century.
Victory: NPCA Works with Coalition to Secure Funding and Expand Historic Site
These important views were threatened when a prominent bluff behind the historic fort went on the market. This 49-acre tract was only 250 feet from the boundary of the fort, and if a developer had purchased the land and built commercial or residential buildings, it would have marred the park’s scenic views and diminished its historic character.
To protect the park and visitor experience, NPCA’s Texas office took action. We worked with the Friends of Fort Davis National Historic Site, the local chapter of The Conservation Fund, county officials, and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. We engaged the congressional delegation and generated front-page news articles about the development threat. And we’re pleased to tell you that we won!
On Wednesday, January 29, 2011, The Conservation Fund finalized a deal transferring the prominent 49-acre bluff to Fort Davis National Historic Site. This is the product of four years of outreach and advocacy by numerous concerned organizations and individuals. We thank all of those who fought tirelessly on this issue, including The Conservation Fund, the Park Service, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, and former Rep. Ciro Rodriguez. We also owe a great deal of gratitude to conservation buyer Roy Truitt, who purchased and held the property until federal funding was secured.