Physical Environment at the King Ranch Training Site

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The King Ranch training site of the Texas Army National Guard is a relatively pristine site that has suffered little physical abuse. Except for possible past overgrazing (as evidenced by the mesquite growth), the land has been used only as pasture. There is no record of major historical storms, but even a major hurricane would not damage the land. Surficial damages to the land surface and its vegetation are possible both when soils are saturated and during drought. Hurricanes are likely to make access to the site difficult; floodwaters from the Santa Gertrudis, Tranquitas, San Fernando, and Carreta Creeks would make U.S. Highway 77 impassable (Federal Emergency Management Agency, 1984). The fact that average annual precipitation is exceeded by evaporation indicates the potential for major drought. A drought would impact National Guard activities by limiting transportation because areas devegetated by traffic are attacked by wind deflation. During very dry periods, National Guard equipment and vehicles may potentially cause range fires.


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