BUFFALO AT WICHITA MOUNTAINS WILDLIFE REFUGE - QUANAH

Herbert Woesner, June 2000, Speech at Parker Reunion, Eagle Park, Cache, OK

 

You know we talked about the house but we didn't talk about Quanah. I have one little story that I'd like to tell you about Quanah and it will impress on you the importance and skill that he had in governing and being a leader in this area.

In 1907, he invited the president of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, down here for a wolf hunt in the Big Pasture. At the wolf hunt Jack Abernathy caught coyotes or wolves.  They caught them then with their bare hands.

While Theodore Roosevelt was here, Quanah asked President Roosevelt if it wouldn't be possible to bring buffalo back and turn them loose in the Big Pasture. Theodore Roosevelt told Quanah the use of the Big Pasture had already been determined but there was a vast expansion of land called the Wichita Mountains National Forest. When he went back to Washington he would see what he could do about getting a portion of that National Forest set aside as the nation's first big game preserve. He did that. He got a section of the National Forest set aside as the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Big Game Preserve.

They got the New York National Zoological Society to go to Wyoming and Montana, find the nearly extinct buffalo, bring them back and put them in what Theodore Roosevelt said, Quanah Parkers back yard.

So now we know why the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge is here and we can be ever thankful that this country has buffalo and we don't have to go to Montana to see them.

 

RETURN TO:  HERBERT W. WOESNER JR.

 

RETURN TO:  QUANAH PARKER WEBSITE