Rep. Canales asks CBP to work with Texas Parks & Wildlife Department to keep Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park open
By Bryan Ramos
s Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park’s future hangs in the balance, one Texas State Representative is working to find solutions to save the Valley’s popular state park.
Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, released the letter he sent to U.S. Customs and Border Protection which asks CBP to work with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) in finding alternatives to reduce or limit the damage a potential border wall would cause to Bentsen Park. See the letter below.
Today, I sent a letter to @CBP asking them to work with @TPWDparks to keep Bentsen State Park open. Right now, a border wall is slated to be built through the middle of this park which will mean that the park will be closed. #RGV #Txlege pic.twitter.com/MXmcDLqjZP
— Terry Canales (@TerryCanales40) August 8, 2018
“It has come to my attention that Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park, one of the most picturesque state parks in our great state, is under immense threat from the planned levee border fencing currently proposed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
This state park is in a unique expanse full of rare and endangered animals and plants not found anywhere outside of our region, and also serves as an important tourist site for our area, helping bring millions of dollars into our community. Shockingly, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TWDP) has notified me that the planned border wall as currently designed will cut the park in half, significantly disrupting all park activities and likely leading to its permanent closure.
As you might know, the Bentsen family, which donated the 586 acres along the Rio Grande River, required the condition that this land is used only for public park purposes. If this state park closes, we will forever lose this magnificent natural treasure.
That is why I am requesting CBP work with TPWD to look for alternatives to reduce or limit the damage to Bentsen Park. Whether through technology, increasing permanent manpower in the park, or partial fencing, there should be a way to protect our borders while preserving our precious natural resources. If you have any questions, comments, or would like a tour of the park, please do not hesitate to contact my office.”
Trump’s border wall could be built directly through Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park, which is home to several threatened species and is one of the nation’s top bird-watching destinations, drawing nearly 30,000 visitors in 2016.