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The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has warned U.S. Border Patrol that it could be forced to shutter a beloved state park on the southern tip of the state if President Donald Trump builds his border wall through it as proposed. The state parks department also is urging the agency to consider less impactful alternatives to a wall within the park.
An October 2017 memo attached to a letter Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Executive Director Carter Smith sent on Friday to Paul Enriquez, the Border Patrol’s real estate and environmental branch chief, says that if the federal government builds a proposed hybrid levee-wall through Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park, it “would certainly call into question whether TPWD could continue to safely operate the property as a state park, and thereby possibly causing the site to revert back to the original Grantors’ heirs.”
The article goes on to state the following:
The grantors, the family of the late Democratic U.S. Sen. Lloyd Bentsen, sold 586.9 acres along the Rio Grande to the state in 1944 for a single dollar on condition that land be used “solely for public park purposes.”
The memo says it’s unclear what the full impact to the park would be, but “it is safe to say a wall would be a significant deterrent to visitors and inhibit the access currently provided.” At a minimum, the memo says, a wall through the park would “likely discontinue overnight camping and nighttime wildlife viewing” at the park, which is located near Mission.
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