|Abstract||Humans required local ecological knowledge of the Red River basin when making community decisions. Many cultures ignored that knowledge causing serious social, political, and economic repercussions. The introductory chapter places the narrative within a historiographical and theoretical framework. Chapter two explores natural history, archeological records, Amerindian resources, and colonial Spanish and French written records to prove that humans have been agents of change in the upper Red River basin for millennia. Chapter three illustrates the nation state's attempts from 1803 to 1860 to make the environment and cultures of the Red River basin more "legible." Chapter four details the contest for the plains of the upper Red River. Comancheros, buffalo skinners, traders, cattlemen, and Plains Indians all shared in that attempted conquest of nature and empire building. Chapter five focuses on vernacular architecture and human communities of the Red River. A review of the settlers' actions allows for a ground level assessment of the interaction between society and environment. Chapter six, "Making Indians Follow The White Man's Road," looks at the contest for Amerindian resources from the reservation period through allotment (1867-2005). The underlying conflict between American Indians and Anglo Americans stemmed from the conflict over resources on the Red Rolling Plains, especially the Wichita Mountains. The seventh chapter entitled "The Irrigated Valley" moves to the Texas side of the river and details development of the Big Wichita River, a major tributary of the upper Red River, during the Gilded Age and Progressive Era (1880-1930). The chapter underscores the relationship between local elites and political ecology, the intersection at which history, politics, and ecology meet.