The Cross Bar is the only BLM-administered land in the state of Texas. It is a 12,000-acre tract originally purchased by the Federal government in 1931 as part of a program to establish a strategic helium reserve. Today the land is used for a variety of ecological and archeological research projects and for public recreation. The BLM manages the land in cooperation with West Texas A&M University and other cooperating agencies.
In the News
Prescribed Burning on the Cross Bar Management Area Environmental Assessment DOI-BLM-NM-0060-2015-2-EA (15-day comment period begins January 21, 2015)
Cross Bar Serves as Outdoor Classroom for Local High School Students
As part of BLM's “Hands on the Land” youth initiative, the BLM Amarillo Field Office hosted an “outdoor classroom” for local high school students on the Cross Bar Ranch, May 20, 2014.
The Cross Bar is a 12,000-acre area of public land near Amarillo, Texas, managed by the BLM for its ecological and recreational values.
Students spent much of the past school year learning about native plant and animal species in north Texas. The Cross Bar field trip was designed to reinforce those lessons and highlight the conservation challenges associated with managing natural resources. They spent the day engaged in various hands-on learning activities about habitats, behavior, physiology, and more.
Natural Resources Specialist Adrian Escobar, who manages the Cross Bar, said, “It’s imperative that we educate and excite young people about the importance and value of our public lands. They will be the ones who inherit our stewardship responsibility going forward.”
Another goal of the project is to raise public awareness about the management potential of the Cross Bar, according to Escobar. In addition to conservation and restoration initiatives, the Cross Bar also supports many recreational activities and educational endeavors.
The outing was a joint project with Caprock High School. Key partners supporting the project included West Texas A&M University, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Parks Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Each partner organization provided student and/or professional volunteers to deliver expert instruction.