“It’s a place of delicate balance between fiercely competing plants, many living at the edge of their geographic ranges and tolerances for temperature and aridity. It’s an ecosystem on a knife edge, dependent on regular rains and steady temperatures. So in 2011, when drought devastated vast regions of Texas, the results in the Chisos were, even by that year’s standard, particularly dire.” Asher Elbein discusses the long-term effects of the 2011 drought on Big Bend’s unique sky islands in this article from the Texas Observer.