Gonzales sponsors bill to expand Big Bend National Park

To preserve the cultural, geological, and historical significance of the Terlingua watershed in western Texas, U.S. Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-TX) introduced legislation that would authorize the National Park Service (NPS) to purchase roughly 6,100 acres of private land adjacent to Terlingua Creek in Big Bend National Park. 

“Big Bend National Park is a natural treasure unlike any other,” Rep. Gonzales said. “This is an important step forward to conserve one of the most beautiful natural sites in our country for generations to come.”

Rep. Gonzales on March 10 sponsored the Big Bend National Park Boundary Adjustment Act, H.R. 1544, to authorize the limited expansion of the park, and to clarify that land within the expansion site may only be acquired through donation or by voluntary sale from willing property owners, according to the text of the bill. 

If enacted, H.R. 1544 also protects private property rights by prohibiting the use of eminent domain or condemnation, the text says.

“By expanding the park boundary along Terlingua Creek, my legislation will ensure the Park Service can preserve and protect the critical habitats, history and geology associated with the watershed,” said Rep. Gonzales. 

The bill has been referred for consideration to the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee.