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A beaver sighting in Lubbock.In the spring of 1831, Albert Pike, a young teacher and poet, uprooted his predictable life in New England and headed west. Lacking both money and a discernible plan, Pike found himself among a group of traders in Missouri who were headed for New Mexico. Once there, he would leave Santa Fe to embark upon an expedition to the Llano Estacado, the elevated expanse of desolate grassland that covers northwest Texas and parts of eastern New Mexico. Pike was in search of beavers, whose pelts had been the obsession of European hatmakers for hundreds of years, decimating the animal’s population. He abandoned his journey and went on to become a freemason as well as a disgraced Confederate general whose Washington, D.C., statue was only recently…

The post 5,000 Years Later, Beavers Return to the High Plains of West Texas appeared first on Texas Monthly.

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