National Park Service

Chihuahuan Desert Network (CHDN)

I&M at Fort Davis National Historic Site

Fort Davis National Historic Site
Fort Davis National Historic Site
 
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CHDN park map
Location of Fort Davis NHS in the Chihuahuan Desert Network. Click for larger image.

Fort Davis National Historic Site (NHS) symbolizes the era of westward migration and the essence of the late 19th century U. S. Army. It is a vivid reminder of the significant role played by the military in the settlement and development of the western frontier. From 1854 until 1891, troops stationed at the post protected emigrants, freighters, mail coaches, and travelers on the San Antonio-El Paso Road hoping to reach the gold fields of California. As with many other cultural sites, the location of these important historic resources is directly related to scarce and important natural resources: a strategic location along the San Antonio- El Paso road, and reliable water.

Fort Davis NHS is situated at the eastern side of the rugged Davis Mountains and contains Chihuahuan Desert grassland community. Fort Davis NHS is home to 368 species of plants from 74 families, and a number of other vertebrate taxa occur including 49 species of reptiles and amphibians, 15 species of mammals, and 129 species of birds.

CHDN monitors climate, invasive plants, landbirds, landscape dynamics, and uplands vegetation and soils at Fort Davis NHS.

Life Zone

The elevation at Fort Davis NHS ranges from approximately 1,487 m (4,880 ft) at the fort to approximately 1,591 m (5,220 ft) in the Davis Mountains. Annual rainfall averages 48 cm (19 in). As the smallest park in the network, Fort Davis NHS still has elements of all four life zones: desert and semi-desert grasslands, desert scrub and woodlands, montane chaparral, and montane woodlands.

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Last Updated: March 21, 2017 Contact Webmaster