Slideshow: Bastrop State Park Shows Signs of Rebirth
Less than a year after a wildfire burned 96 percent of Bastrop State Park’s 6,613 acres, the park is bouncing back. Here's a photographic trip through the park, where camping areas and hiking trails having recently reopened.
by Spencer Selvidge
Officer Roger Dolle, Bastrop State Park's site manager, examines a 100-foot clearing near a road that was previously dominated by loblolly pines and oaks. The Oak trees are coming back in a bush-like state because their roots resisted the heat from the fire more readily than the pines.
An information board in front of the Bastrop State Park headquarters showing the effects of the fire across its entire range.
Fire damage and erosion control in Bastrop State Park.
Fire-damaged loblolly pines.
100-foot loblolly pines killed by fire.
In spite of all the damage from fire, flood and erosion, poppies are in bloom through the park.
Americorps volunteers are active in the park building trails...
...and anti-erosion retaining walls.
New loblolly pines have begun to grow in some of the fire-damaged areas of the park.
Since the fires, the loss of ground cover has become a major issue, causing erosion concerns in Bastrop State Park. Hydromulch, a sticky mixture of wood splinters and grass seed, is sprayed on the ground to help prevent too much erosion.
A gazebo built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the mid 1930s was partially destroyed by the September fires in the park.
Road crews rebuild roads and culverts after the devastating floods in January in Bastrop State Park .
Prime Houston Toad (an endangered species) habitat.
Houston Toad toadlets, about the size of a dime, near ponds and moist soil.
Houston Toad toadlets hiding on a blackened tree stump near ponds and moist soil in the park.
The lake at Bastrop State Park was less damaged by the fires, but erosion and heavy rains have filled it with soot, ash and debris, which could lead to problems in the coming months.
Houston Toad toadlets.
Another look at the lake at Bastrop State Park, which has been filled with soot, ash and debris as a result of erosion and heavy rains.
Officer Dolle examining a 100-foot clearing near a road that was previously dominated by loblolly pines and oaks.
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