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Texas Panhandle

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Texas Panhandle
Region
Windmill on the level plains of the Texas Panhandle
Windmill on the level plains of the Texas Panhandle
Map of the Texas Panhandle
Map of the Texas Panhandle
Coordinates:
Country United States
State Texas
RegionHigh Plains
Area
 • Total67,046 km2 (25,887 sq mi)
Population
(2010)
 • Total427,927
 • Density6.4/km2 (17/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central)
Area code(s)806, 940 (Childress County)
WebsiteHandbook of Texas: Panhandle

The Texas Panhandle is a region of the U.S. state of Texas consisting of the northernmost 26 counties in the state. The panhandle is a rectangular area bordered by New Mexico to the west and Oklahoma to the north and east. The Handbook of Texas defines the southern border of Swisher County as the southern boundary of the Texas Panhandle region.

Its land area is 25,823.89 sq mi (66,883.58 km2), or nearly 10% of the state's total. The Texas Panhandle is slightly larger in size than the US state of West Virginia. An additional 62.75 sq mi (162.53 km2) are covered by water. Its population as of the 2010 census was 427,927 residents, or 1.7% of the state's total population. As of the 2010 census, the population density for the region was 16.6 per square mile (6.4/km2). However, more than 72% of the Panhandle's residents live in the Amarillo Metropolitan Area, which is the largest and fastest-growing urban area in the region. The Panhandle is distinct from North Texas, which is farther southeast.

West of the Caprock Escarpment and north and south of the Canadian River breaks, the surface of the Llano Estacado is rather flat. South of the city of Amarillo, the level terrain gives way to Palo Duro Canyon, the second-largest canyon in the United States. This colorful canyon was carved by the Prairie Dog Town Fork Red River. North of Amarillo lies Lake Meredith, a reservoir created by Sanford Dam on the Canadian River. The lake, along with the Ogallala Aquifer, provides drinking water and irrigation for this moderately dry area of the High Plains.

Interstate Highway 40 passes through the Panhandle, and also passes through Amarillo. The freeway passes through Deaf Smith, Oldham, Potter, Carson, Gray, Donley, and Wheeler Counties.

The Texas Panhandle has been identified in the early 21st century as one of the fastest-growing windpower-producing regions in the nation because of its strong, steady winds.[1]

Before the rise of Amarillo, the three original towns of the Panhandle were Clarendon in Donley County, Mobeetie in Wheeler County, and Tascosa in Oldham County. Clarendon moved itself after it was overlooked by the Fort Worth and Denver Railroad. Mobeetie was reduced even below its original small size with the closure of the United States Army's Fort Elliott in 1890. Tascosa was ruined by the location of the railroad too far north of the town and the inability to build a feeder line. The Tascosa Pioneer wrote in 1890: "Truly this is a world which has no regard for the established order of things but knocks them sky west and crooked, and lo, the upstart hath the land and its fatness."[2]

A canyon formed by Tierra Blanca Creek
A canyon formed by Tierra Blanca Creek
The rugged country of Palo Duro Canyon
The rugged country of Palo Duro Canyon

YouTube Encyclopedic

  • 1/4
    Views:
    5 654
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  • ✪ Panhandle Wildfires; Fire on the Prairie-Texas Parks and Wildlife [Official]
  • ✪ Amazing Texas Panhandle tornadoes!
  • ✪ LIVE Storm Chase: April 16th, 2017 Texas Panhandle
  • ✪ December 27-28, 2015 Texas Panhandle Blizzard in Canyon, Texas (10 am)

Transcription

(soft breeze and birds singing) (fire crackling) >> WE HAVE HAD THE BIGGEST, HOTTEST FIRE THAT I'VE EVER SEEN ANYWHERE. >> WE'VE HAD SOME LARGE FIRES IN THE COUNTY BEFORE BUT CERTAINLY NOTHING THIS DEVASTATING THAT COVERED SUCH A LARGE AREA. >> IN MARCH 2006, TEXAS EXPERIENCED THE MOST DEVASTATING WILDFIRES IN THE STATE'S HISTORY. FUELED BY DROUGHT CONDITIONS AND HIGH WINDS, MORE THAN A DOZEN SEPARATE FIRES RACED ACROSS THE TEXAS PANHANDLE. THE TWO LARGEST MOVED 45 MILES IN JUST NINE HOURS AND SPREAD INTO 9 COUNTIES. >> IT WENT FROM BEING A BEAUTIFUL PRISTINE ROLLING PRAIRIE TO WHAT LOOKS LIKE A WASTELAND. >> BEFORE IT WAS OVER, 12 PEOPLE HAD DIED. HOMES AND RANCHES BURNED TO THE GROUND. THOUSANDS OF CATTLE WERE KILLED. MORE THAN A MILLION ACRES WERE DESTROYED, INCLUDING SOME OF THE STATE'S PRIME WILDLIFE HABITAT. >> THAT USED TO BE BEAUTIFUL LITTLE BLUESTEM GRASS, SOME YUCCA, SAGEBRUSH ABOUT KNEE TO WAIST DEEP, PRIMO HABITAT FOR QUAIL, WHITE TAIL DEER, AND ALL SORTS OF PRAIRIE LAND BIRDS AND STUFF LIKE THAT. NOW IT'S JUST... DIRT AND YUCCA STUMPS. (fire crackling) >> FIRE HAS ALWAYS BEEN A NATURAL PART OF THE PRAIRIE ENVIRONMENT. AND, GIVEN TIME, THE LAND HAS ALWAYS RECOVERED. BUT THESE FIRES WERE UNUSUAL. THEY BURNED SO HOT AND SO FAST ...ALMOST NOTHING WAS LEFT. >> IT DIDN'T MISS A CANYON, A CREEK, A DRAW, NOTHING. IT GOT EVERYTHING. THE FIRE RIPPED THROUGH HERE REALLY HOT, TOOK OUT A MULTITUDE OF THE MATURE COTTONWOOD TREES WHICH ARE THE TURKEY ROOSTS. AND JUST STANDING RIGHT HERE LOOKING AT COTTONWOODS I SEE DEAD COTTONWOOD, DEAD COTTONWOOD, DEAD COTTONWOOD, DEAD COTTONWOOD... >> JUST SOUTH OF I-40 IN DONLEY COUNTY IS THE MARTINEZ RANCH. >> DUB, THIS IS GOOD LOOKING STUFF HERE MAN. >> JEFF BONNER IS A BIOLOGIST WITH THE TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT. THREE YEARS EARLIER JEFF HAD HELPED INITIATE A MANAGEMENT PROGRAM TO IMPROVE HABITAT FOR THE LESSER PRAIRIE CHICKEN. >> GOOD NESTING HABITAT, AND LOTS OF WEEDS COMING UP. STICK LEAF. >> WHEN YOU COMPARE THE LANDSCAPE BEFORE THE FIRE, TO WHAT IT LOOKED LIKE IMMEDIATELY AFTER, YOU HAVE TO WONDER HOW IT COULD POSSIBLY RECOVER. >> LAST TIME WE WERE LOOKING AT THIS GRASS WAS ABOUT THIS DEEP. THIS HIGH. IT WAS A SEA OF LITTLE BLUESTEM AND SOME BIG BLUESTEM AND SOME OTHER STUFF, AND THAT IS ALL BURNED UP. >> WE'VE NOT BEEN ABLE TO LOCATE ANY OF OUR PRAIRIE CHICKENS THAT WE KNOW WERE THERE PRIOR TO THE FIRE. WE CAN'T GO AND REALLY FIX ANYTHING RIGHT NOW. WE JUST HAVE TO LET NATURE TAKE ITS COURSE AND HOPE THAT EVERYTHING WILL COME BACK THE WAY IT WAS. >> I THINK IT'S A NATURAL HUMAN EMOTION TO WANT TO RUN OUT THERE AND FIX IT AND MAKE IT BETTER AND HURRY AND REPAIR IT AND PUT A BAND AID ON IT AND SEE HOW FAST WE CAN GET IT BACK IN SHAPE. BUT BOTTOM LINE IS WITH SOMETHING LIKE THIS IT JUST TAKES TIME AND RAINFALL AND CAREFUL RANGE MANAGEMENT. (cow mooing) >> ON RANCHES WHERE CATTLE ARE THE CROP, DECREASING THE AMOUNT OF GRAZING WAS AS IMPORTANT AS THE RAIN IN ALLOWING THE LAND TO RECOVER. A DEFERRED GRAZING PROGRAM PAID CATTLE OWNERS TO KEEP THEIR HERDS OFF THE LAND DURING THE GROWING SEASON. >> THAT GIVES THOSE PASTURES AN OPPORTUNITY TO RECOVER, PUT DOWN ROOT GROWTH, PUT DOWN TOP GROWTH, WHICH IS GONNA MAKE FOR HEALTHIER PLANTS AS OPPOSED TO BEING CONSUMED ALL THE TIME. (truck driving on gravel) >> THERE'S SOME AREAS OUT THERE WHERE IT'S JUST DEAD. >> HERE ON THE FLOWERS RANCH, LAND THAT WAS ONCE USED FOR GRAZING CATTLE IS NOW PART OF A WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT PROGRAM. THE SANDY HILLS, ROCKY CANYONS, AND GRASSY MESAS ARE HOME TO A VARIETY OF WILDLIFE... EVERYTHING FROM MULE DEER TO QUAIL TO PRONGHORN ANTELOPE. >> TREES, SHRUBS, ALL THE GRASS IS GONE. ALL COVER, ALL HABITAT FOR ALL THE WILDLIFE IS AT THIS POINT GONE. FOR THE MOST PART THE WILDLIFE ARE ON THEIR OWN. >> FIRE HAS LONG BEEN ONE OF A LANDOWNERS BEST HABITAT MANAGEMENT TOOLS. BURNING REMOVES EXCESS DEBRIS AND STIMULATES GROWTH. >> 48% ON THE HUMIDITY AND 71 DEGREES. >> RIGHT NOW FIRE'S GOT A REALLY BAD NAME. BUT IT'S IMPORTANT TO KEEP IN MIND THAT THIS WAS NOT A PRESCRIBED FIRE. PRESCRIBED FIRES MEANS WE HAVE CERTAIN GOALS AND OBJECTIVES THAT WE WANT TO ACHIEVE WITH THE FIRE. WE WANT TO KNOCK THE BRUSH BACK. WE WANT TO INCREASE PERENNIAL GRASSES. WE WANT TO INCREASE WEEDS DEPENDING UPON HOW YOU DO IT AND WHEN YOU DO IT. NOBODY WHO KNOWS ANYTHING ABOUT BURNING WOULD EVER GO OUT ON A DAY WITH 75 DEGREES AND 10% HUMIDITY AND A 45 MILES PER HOUR WIND AND LIGHT A FIRE. THAT IS NOT A PRESCRIBED FIRE. >> RIGHT AFTER THE FIRES, BIOLOGISTS BEGAN STUDYING THE LONG TERM EFFECTS ON THE HABITAT. USING A GPS UNIT TO MARK HIS LOCATION, JEFF SET UP EIGHT 'PHOTO POINTS.' THIS ALLOWED HIM TO RECORD CHANGES TO THE LANDSCAPE. (camera clicks) ONE WEEK AFTER THE FIRES, RAIN FINALLY CAME TO THE PANHANDLE. AND JUST TWO WEEKS LATER, THE LAND WAS SHOWING SIGNS OF RECOVERY. >> IT DOESN'T LOOK NEAR AS BAD AS I THOUGHT IT WAS GOING TO. THAT LITTLE TWO INCH RAIN WE GOT IS GOING A LONG WAY. IF THE SOIL WILL HOLD TOGETHER IT'LL BE A REALLY GOOD THING IN A COUPLE OF YEARS. RAIN, TIME AND REST. (wind) >> FIVE MONTHS AFTER THE FIRES, SOME AREAS OF THE PANHANDLE RECEIVED SIX INCHES OF RAIN. AND A YEAR LATER, THE LANDSCAPE WAS SPRINGING BACK TO LIFE. >> HERE'S A WONDERFUL PLANT, THIS IS A SPECIES OF CROTON. GROWS LITTLE SEEDS, NICE FAT JUICY, ROUND SEEDS THAT THE BIRDS LIKE. CONSIDERING WHAT IT WAS LAST YEAR, IT'S ALL LOOKING A LOT BETTER. FOR WILDLIFE IT'S LOOKING OUTSTANDING, FOR A GUY MAKING A LIVING GRAZING CATTLE IT COULD BE BETTER. >> THE STORY WAS LARGELY THE SAME TO THE NORTH IN ROBERTS COUNTY. >> THIS IS A TYPICAL SHORT GRASS PRAIRIE SITE, TIGHTER SOILS, AND GROWS A LOT SHORTER GRASS, IF IT'S IN REALLY GOOD SHAPE, KNEE HIGH. >> AND A YEAR LATER... >> WE FINALLY GOT SOME GOOD RAIN, AND NEARLY ALL OF THIS HAD TURNED TO BLUE GRAMMA AND BUFFALO GRASS. GOOD FOR CATTLE, VERY TYPICAL OF SHORT GRASS PRAIRIE. SOME STIFF STEMMED FLAX, HIGHLY PREFERRED FOOD FOR ANTELOPE. VERY DIVERSE. AND IT'S LOOKING A LOT BETTER. LOOKS REALLY GOOD. (prairie chicken calls) CHICKENS ARE REALLY ODD. THEY WANT LOTS OF DIFFERENT KINDS OF STUFF AND DIFFERENT AMOUNTS SCATTERED OVER A LOT OF COUNTRY. I WOULD SAY AS FAR AS CHICKEN HABITAT IT'S PROBABLY BETTER RIGHT NOW THAN IT WAS IN 2005. THE BRUSH COVER'S BEEN KNOCKED BACK SOME, WHICH IS VERY IMPORTANT FOR CHICKENS, KEEPING IT MORE OF A PRAIRIE. BIRDS DIDN'T SHOW UP THIS YEAR, THERE WEREN'T HERE LAST YEAR AFTER THE FIRE, THEY WERE THE YEAR BEFORE. I CERTAINLY HAVEN'T GIVEN UP HOPE ON EM, I THINK THEY'LL BE BACK. >> THE FLOWERS RANCH HAS BEEN MAKING A COMEBACK AS WELL. >> THIS TIME LAST YEAR IS WAS BASICALLY BLACK AND DIRT. THE HABITAT FOR WILDLIFE IS DISAPPEARING AND WE THINK IF WE TAKE CARE OF THIS, IN THE LONG RUN IT'S JUST AN INVESTMENT WE'RE MAKING IN THE FUTURE OF THIS RANCH AND THE FUTURE VALUE OF IT. WE ENJOY DOING IT. WE DON'T MAKE MUCH MONEY AT IT BUT, WE'RE GONNA CONTINUE TO DEVELOP THIS RANCH FOR WILDLIFE. >> FROM NATURE'S POINT OF VIEW, THE FIRES OF 2006 WILL, OVER THE LONG TERM, BE GOOD. THE INCREASE IN DIVERSITY AND PLANT PRODUCTIVITY WILL GIVE THE ANIMALS MORE FOOD, MORE COVER, AND BETTER HABITAT. >> REGARDLESS OF WHAT IT DID FOR THE HABITAT, REGARDLESS OF HOW GOOD IT'S GONNA BE FOR WILDLIFE IN 5, 10, 15 YEARS, DO NOT WANT THAT TO HAPPEN AGAIN. TOO DEVASTATING. THESE ANIMALS HAVE BEEN LIVING UP HERE ON THE PRAIRIE FOR THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF YEARS. AND THIS ISN'T THEIR FIRST FIRE. THEY'LL COME BACK AND THEY WILL ALL RECOVER.

Contents

Demographics

As of the census of 2000, about 402,862 people lived in the Panhandle. Of these, 68.9% were non-Hispanic White, 23.8% were Hispanic, and 4.6% were African American. Only 2.7% were of some other ethnicity. About 92.3% of inhabitants claimed native birth, and 8.9% were veterans of the United States armed forces; 49.9% of the population was male, and 50.1% was female. Around 13.2% of the population was 65 years of age or older, whereas 27.8% of the population was under 18 years of age.

Counties

The 26 northernmost counties that make up the Texas Panhandle include:[3][4]

Cities and towns

Major cities of the Texas Panhandle with populations greater than 10,000 include:

Some of the smaller towns with populations less than 10,000 include:

Politics

Much like the rest of West Texas and the Oklahoma Panhandle, the region is very politically and socially conservative. Following the pattern of other larger cities, Amarillo has the largest liberal population in the Panhandle. It was one of the first regions of the state to break away from its Democratic roots, though Democrats continued to do well at the local level well into the 1980s. However, Republicans now dominate every level of government, holding nearly every elected post above the county level.

Nearly all of the Panhandle is in Texas's 13th congressional district, represented by Republican Mac Thornberry. With a Cook Partisan Voting Index of R+33, it is the most Republican district in the nation. The counties of Castro and Parmer are in Texas's 19th congressional district, represented by Republican Jodey Arrington.

In the 2016 Presidential election, Donald Trump received 79.9% of the vote in the 13th District, as compared with Hillary Clinton's 16.9% share of the vote.

See also

References

  1. ^ UPDATE 2-Pickens' Mesa Power orders GE wind turbines | Reuters
  2. ^ The Tascosa Pioneer, October 11, 1890, quoted in Lester Fields Sheffy, The Life and Times of Timothy Dwight Hobart, 1855–1935: Colonization of West Texas (Canyon, Texas: Panhandle-Plains Historical Society, 1950), p. 156
  3. ^ Counties of the Texas Panhandle United States Census Bureau
  4. ^ "PANHANDLE". Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 13 October 2014.

External links

This page was last edited on 25 January 2019, at 04:10
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