Mexico–United States international park

A brown river between two towering canyon walls
The Rio Grande river in Big Bend National Park

The Mexico–United States international park is a proposed and partially completed cross-border wilderness park straddling the part of the U.S.–Mexico boundary delineated by the Rio Grande.


Camacho and Roosevelt in Monterrey, Mexico, in 1943
Regan and de la Madrid Hurtado, with their wives, in Washington in 1983.
A dry valley is visible in the distance through a tall ravine
Maderas del Carmen

In 1933, the Chamber of Commerce in Alpine, Texas, commissioned a landscape architect to design an international park for the Big Bend region.

In 1935, a U.S. Senator from Texas wrote to U.S. President Roosevelt proposing an international park overlapping the U.S.–Mexico border.

In 1935, or 1936, the U.S. and Mexico established a commission to establish Big Bend International Park.

In 1938, the Dallas Morning News reported on proposals for a Big Bend International Peace Park.

In June 1944, Big Bend National Park came into being. That same month, U.S. President F. D. Roosevelt wrote to Mexican President Manuel Ávila Camacho expressing a desire for the area on both sides of the Rio Grande to form one great international park. President Camacho agreed with Roosevelt's aim.

After Roosevelt died, U.S. President Harry Truman resumed talks with Mexico. In the 1950s, Mexican efforts stopped short of protecting the entire area envisioned, and talks stalled.

In his 1951 essay Chihuahua as We Might Have Been, J. B. Jackson argued for mutual co-operation to restored continuity between the ecosystems either side of the border.

In 1983, Mexican President Miguel de la Madrid Hurtado signed an agreement with U.S. President Ronald Reagan to protect, improve and conserve the environment along the border.

In 1994, the Maderas del Carmen protected area was established in Mexico, as was Mexico's Santa Elena Canyon.

In 2000, Cemex established an additional borderland conservation project.

In 2009, Mexico made its side of the Rio Grande and the Ocampo Flora and Fauna south of Big Bend National Park into protected areas.

In May 2010, Mexican President Felipe Calderon U.S. President Barack Obama signed a joint statement pledging both countries' support for cross-border wilderness protection.

In October 2011, U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Mexican Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Juan Rafael Elvira Quesada outlined the Cooperative Action for Conservation in the Big Bend/Rio Bravo Region, a plan already underway that identified "the next steps for the continued coordination between the two countries in the protection and preservation of the transnational Big Bend/Rio Bravo region – North America's largest and most diverse desert ecosystem."


Over the decades, a number of different names have been proposed for the park, including "Big Bend International Peace Park", "Big Bend International Park", "US-Mexico International Park", "Big Bend-Rio Bravo Binational Natural Area", and "Big Bend-Rio Bravo Natural Area of Binational Interest".

See also

Uses material from the Wikipedia article Mexico–United States international park, released under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license.