Black Kettle National Grassland

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Black Kettle National Grassland
Black Kettle National Grassland.jpg
A homestead structure in Black Kettle National Grassland
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Location of the Black Kettle National Grassland
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Black Kettle National Grassland (Texas)
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Black Kettle National Grassland (the United States)
Location Roger Mills County, Oklahoma and Hemphill County, Texas, United States
Nearest city Cheyenne, OK
Coordinates 35°37′00″N99°41′12″W / 35.6166°N 99.68655°W / 35.6166; -99.68655 Coordinates: 35°37′00″N99°41′12″W / 35.6166°N 99.68655°W / 35.6166; -99.68655
Area31,286 acres (12,661 ha) [1]
Governing body U.S. Forest Service
Website Black Kettle and McClellan Creek National Grasslands

The Black Kettle National Grassland is located in Roger Mills County, Oklahoma and Hemphill County, Texas. It contains 31,286 acres (12,661 ha) of which 30,710 acres (12,430 ha) are in Oklahoma. [1]

Roger Mills County, Oklahoma County in the United States

Roger Mills County is a county located in the western part of the U.S. state of Oklahoma. As of the 2010 census, the population was 3,647, making it the third-least populous county in Oklahoma. Its county seat is Cheyenne. The county was created in 1891.

Oklahoma State of the United States of America

Oklahoma is a state in the South Central region of the United States, bordered by Kansas on the north, Missouri on the northeast, Arkansas on the east, Texas on the south, New Mexico on the west, and Colorado on the northwest. It is the 20th-most extensive and the 28th-most populous of the fifty United States. The state's name is derived from the Choctaw words okla and humma, meaning "red people". It is also known informally by its nickname, "The Sooner State", in reference to the non-Native settlers who staked their claims on land before the official opening date of lands in the western Oklahoma Territory or before the Indian Appropriations Act of 1889, which dramatically increased European-American settlement in the eastern Indian Territory. Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory were merged into the State of Oklahoma when it became the 46th state to enter the union on November 16, 1907. Its residents are known as Oklahomans, and its capital and largest city is Oklahoma City.

Hemphill County, Texas County in the United States

Hemphill County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 3,807. The county seat and only incorporated community in the county is Canadian. The county was created in 1876 and organized in 1887. It is named for John Hemphill, a judge and Confederate congressman. Hemphill County is one of six prohibition, or entirely dry, counties in the state of Texas.


The grassland is managed by the Cibola National Forest, which also manages the Rita Blanca National Grassland in Dallam County, Texas and Cimarron County, Oklahoma, and McClellan Creek National Grassland in Gray County, Texas. [2]

Cibola National Forest protected forest in New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas

The Cibola National Forest is a 1,633,783 acre United States National Forest in New Mexico, USA. The name Cibola is thought to be the original Zuni Indian name for their pueblos or tribal lands. The name was later interpreted by the Spanish to mean, "buffalo." The forest is disjointed with lands spread across central and northern New Mexico, west Texas and Oklahoma. The Cibola National Forest is divided into four Ranger Districts: the Sandia, Mountainair, Mt. Taylor, and Magdalena. The Forest includes the San Mateo, Magdalena, Datil, Bear, Gallina, Manzano, Sandia, Mt. Taylor, and Zuni Mountains of west-central New Mexico. The Forest also manages four National Grasslands that stretch from northeastern New Mexico eastward into the Texas Panhandle and western Oklahoma. The Cibola National Forest and Grassland is administered by Region 3 of the United States Forest Service from offices in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Elevation ranges from 5,000 ft to 11,301 ft. The descending order of Cibola National Forest acres by county are: Socorro, Cibola, McKinley, Catron, Torrance, Bernalillo, Sandoval County, New Mexico, Lincoln, Sierra, and Valencia counties in New Mexico. The Cibola National Forest currently has 137,701 acres designated as Wilderness. In addition to these acres, it has 246,000 acres classified as Inventoried Roadless Areas pursuant to the Roadless Area Conservation Rule.

Rita Blanca National Grassland protected grassland in Texas and Oklahoma

Rita Blanca National Grassland is a National Grassland on the Great Plains near the community of Texline in northwest Dallam County, Texas, in the Texas Panhandle, and in southern Cimarron County, Oklahoma, in the western Oklahoma Panhandle. The principal city in the area is Dalhart, Texas, which houses the XIT Museum.

Dallam County, Texas County in the United States

Dallam County is a county located in the northwestern corner of the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 Census, its population was 6,703. Its county seat is Dalhart. The county was founded in 1876 and later organized in 1891. It is named for James Wilmer Dallam, a lawyer and newspaper publisher.


The National Grassland consists of about 100 tracts of land interspaced with privately owned ranchland. It is located in the mixed grass prairie region. The terrain is characterized by sandy and red slate hills in addition to grassland and oak brush. The creek bottoms are wooded with cottonwood, elm, and hackberry. Wildlife includes white-tailed deer, turkey and quail. The Washita River flows through the grassland. It is a small stream here near its headwaters, only a few feet wide and shallow. The nearest town is Cheyenne where the Grassland headquarters is located. [3]

<i>Populus deltoides</i> species of plant

Populus deltoides, the eastern cottonwood or necklace poplar, is a cottonwood poplar native to North America, growing throughout the eastern, central, and southwestern United States, the southernmost part of eastern Canada, and northeastern Mexico.

Elm genus of plants

Elms are deciduous and semi-deciduous trees comprising the flowering plant genus Ulmus in the plant family Ulmaceae. The genus first appeared in the Miocene geological period about 20 million years ago, originating in what is now central Asia. These trees flourished and spread over most of the Northern Hemisphere, inhabiting the temperate and tropical-montane regions of North America and Eurasia, presently ranging southward across the Equator into Indonesia.

<i>Celtis</i> genus of plants

Celtis is a genus of about 60–70 species of deciduous trees, commonly known as hackberries or nettle trees, widespread in warm temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere, in southern Europe, southern and eastern Asia, and southern and central North America, south to central Africa, and northern and central South America. The genus is present in the fossil record at least since the Miocene of Europe, and Paleocene of North America and eastern Asia.


The Washita River flows through the National Grassland. Washita River Oklahoma.jpg
The Washita River flows through the National Grassland.

This Black Kettle National Grassland was home to the Comanche and other nomadic Indian tribes who camped and hunted in the area, attracted by abundant water and wood and buffalo herds. In 1868 Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer led an attack on a Cheyenne village here in what was called the Battle of the Washita. The Grassland is named for Black Kettle, the Indian leader killed in that attack. The area became part of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Indian reservation in 1867 and was opened to White settlement in 1892. Farmers enjoyed many years of good crops, especially wheat until the Dust Bowl years of the 1930s. "Poor conservation and agricultural practices, combined with periods of wind, drought, and rain stripped the area of its topsoil" and the government bought the land from bankrupt farmers. In 1938, the Soil Conservation Service began a replanting and restoration effort and in 1960 it was designated a national grassland. Today, the grassland is used for recreation, oil and gas production, and cattle grazing. [4]

Comanche Plains native North American tribe whose historic territory consisted of eastern New Mexico, southeastern Colorado, southwestern Kansas, western Oklahoma, and northwest Texas

The Comanche are a Native American nation from the Great Plains whose historic territory consisted of most of present-day northwestern Texas and adjacent areas in eastern New Mexico, southeastern Colorado, southwestern Kansas, western Oklahoma, and northern Chihuahua. The Comanche people are federally recognized as the Comanche Nation, headquartered in Lawton, Oklahoma.

George Armstrong Custer United States cavalry commander

George Armstrong Custer was a United States Army officer and cavalry commander in the American Civil War and the American Indian Wars.

Cheyenne group of indigenous people of the Great Plains

The Cheyenne are one of the indigenous people of the Great Plains and their language is of the Algonquian language family. The Cheyenne comprise two Native American tribes, the Só'taeo'o or Só'taétaneo'o and the Tsétsêhéstâhese. These tribes merged in the early 19th century. Today, the Cheyenne people are split into two federally recognized Nations: the Southern Cheyenne, who are enrolled in the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes in Oklahoma, and the Northern Cheyenne, who are enrolled in the Northern Cheyenne Tribe of the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation in Montana.


There are three developed recreation areas in Oklahoma and one in Texas. Dead Warrior Lake (formerly Dead Indian Lake) is 80 acres (32 ha) in size and is 11 miles (18 km) north of Cheyenne. Spring Creek Lake is 14 miles (23 km) north of Cheyenne and is 50 acres (20 ha) in size. Sixty-acre (24 ha) Skipout Lake is 10 miles (16 km) west of Cheyenne. A 1.75-mile (2.82 km) hiking trail circles the lake. Lake Marvin in Texas is 63 acres (25 ha) acres in size. All lakes offer fishing, picnicking, and primitive camping sites. Hiking, wildlife observation, and hunting are permitted on most of the National Grasslands acreage. [5] [6] Croton Creek Watchable Wildlife Area, about 6 miles (9.7 km) west of Cheyenne has two trail loops totaling 1.6 miles (2.6 km). [7]

The Washita Battlefield National Historic Site is located just west of Cheyenne and offers a 1.5-mile (2.4 km) walking trail, a visitors center, and a panoramic view of the Battlefield and the National Grassland. [8]

Washita Battlefield National Historic Site

Washita Battlefield National Historic Site protects and interprets the site of the Southern Cheyenne village of Chief Black Kettle where the Battle of Washita occurred. The site is located about 150 miles (241 km) west of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, near Cheyenne, Oklahoma. Just before dawn on November 27, 1868, the village was attacked by the 7th U.S. Cavalry under Lt. Col. George Custer. In the Battle of Washita, the Cheyenne suffered large numbers of casualties. The strike was hailed at the time by the military and many civilians as a significant victory aimed at reducing Indian raids on frontier settlements as it forced the Cheyenne back to the reservation set aside for them. The site is a small portion of a large area that was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1965, and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1966. The landmarked area encompasses the entire battlefield, which extends for some 6 miles (9.7 km) through the city of Cheyenne.

North of the Grassland is the South Canadian River which flows through a steep and hilly canyon. On the northern side of the River in Ellis County is the Packsaddle Wildlife Management Area, 19,659 acres (7,956 ha) of mixed grass prairie, forested river bottomland, and colorful red sand hills. Hunting for white-tailed deer, quail, and turkey is popular. [9] Near Packsaddle is the Nature Conservancy's Four Canyon Preserve, 4,000 acres (1,600 ha) of similar terrain. The Conservancy is attempting to eradicate non-native plant species from the Preserve and enhance prairie habitat for species such as the vulnerable Lesser Prairie Chicken. [10]

Grasslands are believed to be the most endangered ecosystem in North America. [11] The National Grassland, Packsaddle, and Four Canyon preserve a significant remnant of mixed grass prairie and free-flowing prairie river.

A scene of the Black Kettle region with the Antelope Hills in the background. The shinnery oak brush (Quercus havardii) in this picture is typical of sandy soils AntelopeHills.jpg
A scene of the Black Kettle region with the Antelope Hills in the background. The shinnery oak brush (Quercus havardii) in this picture is typical of sandy soils

See also

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  1. 1 2 "Land Areas of the National Forest System". U.S. Forest Service. January 2013. Archived from the original on December 1, 2012. Retrieved December 8, 2012.
  2. "Cibola National Forest and National Grasslands". U.S. Forest Service. Retrieved December 8, 2012.
  3. Scott Parry. "Black Kettle Wildlife Management Area". Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. Archived from the original on May 31, 2012. Retrieved March 10, 2012.
  4. Dana Jackson. "BLACK KETTLE NATIONAL GRASSLAND". Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History & Culture. Oklahoma Historical Society. Retrieved March 10, 2012.
  5. "Black Kettle National Grassland". LASR Leisure and Sports Review. Retrieved March 10, 2012.
  6. Birding Texas. "Lake Marvin and Gene Howe Wildlife Management Area". Falcon Publishing. Retrieved March 10, 2012.
  7. "Great Plains Trail of Oklahoma". Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. Retrieved March 10, 2012.
  8. "Washita Battlefield - Plan Your Visit". National Park Service. Retrieved March 10, 2012.
  9. Scott Parry. "Packsaddle Wildlife Management Area". Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. Archived from the original on January 10, 2012. Retrieved March 10, 2012.
  10. "Four Canyon Preserve". The Nature Conservancy. Retrieved March 10, 2012.
  11. "Milnesand Prairie Preserve". The Nature Conservancy. Retrieved March 10, 2012.