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Can U.S., Mexico Forge International Park Along Texas Border?


Can the United States and Mexico create an international peace park along the Texas border? NPS photo of Big Bend National Park.

If you're a regular National Public Radio listener, you likely caught John Burnett's story this morning on the prospects of the United States and Mexico creating a sprawling international peace park along the Texas-Mexico border.

It's a thought-provoking piece. After all, way back in 1932 the United States and Canada created the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park along the Montana-Canada border, so why, nearly eight decades later, can't something similar be created along the country's southern border?

Of course, some of the most obvious obstacles are drug traffickers and political opposition.

Mr. Burnett's story focuses on Big Bend National Park in Texas, and 2.5 million acres on the Mexican side of the border. You can listen to it here.


A beautiful idea, as the Chihuahuan Desert is a treasure worth protecting, not to mention worth worth exposing to more people that may appreciate it.

My concern is with what I perceive as the rule of law disintegrating in Mexico. It seems like the government is losing the battle with the drug gangs, especially in the more remote states, of which Chihuahua is certainly a good example. Perhaps I'm allowing myself to be victimized by media sensationalism, but the headlines I see don't instill in me any confidence that the Mexican government can safeguard much of anything. Would I visit the Mexican side if the binational park existed now? I don't think so. I'm somewhat leery of visiting Big Bend as it is, though not enough to cancel plans to visit next year.

I do have a nagging feeling that I'm ill-informed with respect to the actual situation on the border. It's difficult to find anyone discussing it without a level of passion that undoubtedly colors their argument.

Not a good idea. Just another avenue for illegal activities.

And don't forget widespread paranoia about the 'Brown Menace', currently widespread in Arizona.

I think it's a great idea.

A national wildlife refuge at the Arizona-Mexico border is already closed to US Citizens because it's too dangerous due to illegal drug and human smuggling. Until border parks are safe to visit there's no point establishing another one.

My experience with groups in Copper Canyon is that it is perfectly safe. Other guides and locals concur.
Perhaps more tourist activity willl forge some bonds and bring much needed revenue into the country.
The murder rate in South Africa is 3 times that of Mexico- I think they are having some little event there now...

I think it would be a great idea-- I would certainly visit it. The Waterton- Glacier park is wonderful-- my family and I visited it two years ago and really enjoyed it. Shows the concept can work.

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