Big Bend International Park Historical Timeline 1932-2009
June 18, 1932 Governments of Canada and the United States of America proclaimed Waterton Lakes National Park and Glacier National Park, together, as the world's first International Peace Park. In response to post World War I efforts to promote world peace, Rotarians from Montana(US) and Alberta (Canada) played an instrumental role in convincing their governments to create the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, the world's first international peace park.
February 16, 1935 Texas Senator Morris Sheppard writes a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt suggesting a park of international scope in the Big Bend area.
1986-1990 Big Bend National Park Superintendent Jim Carrico continued the Lusk initiative with closely with Coahuila Governor Eliseo Mendoza Berrueto.
October 14, 1988 Coahuila Governor Eliseo Mendoza Berrueto leads a group of staff members, private landowners, Mexican biologists and U.S. government officials on a trip into the Maderas del Carmen to inspect part of the area to be protected by the Mexican government across the border from Big Bend.
May 5, 1995 Delegates attending a International Good Neighbor Council Spring Convention in Saltillo, Coahuila adopt a resolution urging both the U.S. and Mexican governments to move forward in creating a international park in the Big Bend region.
January, 1997 - National Park Service U.S. Mexico Affairs Director Howard Ness presents program on binational efforts to create a International Park in the Big Bend National Park area.
March 11, 1997 - Carlsbad Rotary Club approves a resolution urging the U.S. and Mexico to see international park project to completion and that the park be designated a "Rotary International Peace Park."
May 3, 1997 - District 5520 Conference in El Paso approves resolution encouraging government officials in the US and Mexico to see the original 1935 proposed Peace Park to completion.
May 5, 1997 - Letter of Intent between the Department of the Interior (DOI, US) and the Secretariat of the Environment, Natural Resources and Fisheries (SEMARNAP, Mexico) for joint work in natural protected areas signed in Mexico City during President Clinton's visit with President Zedillo. Agreement specifically called for increased cooperation in the wildlife protection areas in Mexico of Maderas del Carmen in Coahuila and Canon de Santa Elena in Chihuahua, and the adjacent protected area in the United States at Big Bend National Park in Texas.
December 1997-February 1998 - Carlsbad Museum (NM) displays new Peace Park exhibit featuring District 5520/4110 initiative.
April 1, 1998 - District 4110 published special report distributed at District Conference in Juarez entitled "Parque Rotario Internacional de la Paz." New bilingual exhibit displayed during the meeting attended by nearly 1000 Rotarians from Mexico. Most Rotarians ask "how can I help?"
May 1, 1998 - District 5520 publishes special report distributed at District Conference in Ruidoso entitled "Rotarians in the U.S. and Mexico rekindle dream of a International Peace Park." Peace Park Committee presents special program on the project and unveils new exhibit.
June 18, 1998 - Art Graff speaks to the Rotary Club of Fort Stockton, Texas.
June 16, 1998 - Art Graff speaks to the Rotary Club of Marfa, Texas.
June 4, 1998 - Art Graff, President of Rotary Club of Alpine, Texas begins series of presentations on the Peace Park with a presentation to his Alpine Club.
June-August, 1998 - Peace Park Exhibit displayed at Chamizal National Memorial Visitor Center and gallery in El Paso.
July 11, 1998 - Second meeting of the District 5520/4410 new committee held at Chamizal National Memorial in El Paso.
August 11, 1998 - Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de Leon, President of Mexico, writes letter to District 5520 Governor Robert Wootten saying that he was pleased to learn about District 5520/4110 efforts to create a Peace Park including the historic meeting to dedicate the effort at Chamizal National Memorial in El Paso.
August 15, 1998 - District 5520/4110 committee meeting held in Juarez at the Pueblito Mexicano.
August 21, 1998 - In a letter to District 5520 Director of the National Park Service Robert Stanton states that Rotary can play a key role in the effort to create a international park by doing much of the ground work needed to develop the political consensus necessary to garner support for Congressional legislation.
August 25, 1998 - Art Graff speaks to the Rotary Club of Van Horn.
October 7, 1998 - In a letter to District 5520 Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and International Affairs of the Department of Interior, Brooks B. Yeager, welcomes Rotary as a partner in helping the DOI develop a strong program for technical exchange and cooperation with the Government of Mexico under the Letter of Intent signed on May 5, 1997.
October 27 1998 - Art Graff speaks to the Rotary Club of Del Rio, Texas.
September 18, 1998 - National Park Service U.S. Mexico Affairs Director Howard Ness attends 18th Border Liaison Mechanism Meeting and discusses Rotary's efforts to create the Peace Park with several U.S. and Mexican participants. The proposal was enthusiastically received.
November 7, 1998 - Rotary District 5520/4110 Dedication Ceremony held at Chamizal National Memorial in El Paso. Dignitaries in attendance include Rotary International President James L. Lacy, Superintendent of Big Bend National Park Jose Cisneros, Lic. Enrique Provencio Durazno, Presidente Institute Naciional de Ecologia, SEMARNAP, Dr. Glen Coulter of the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park Association and Mayor of El Paso Carlos Ramirez.
November 9, 1998 - District 5520/4110 Peace Park Committee members join nearly 60 other conservationists, biologists, government officials, and landowners from the United States and Mexico to discuss cooperation in the management of joint resources in protected areas along the Texas-Mexico border in Big Bend.
November 9, 1998 At a Bi-District dedication ceremony at Chamizal National Memorial in El Paso, Texas, attended by government officials from the U.S. and Mexico and Rotary International President Jim Lacy, over 400 Rotarians from both Districts 5520 and 4110 joined hands in officially dedicating Rotary's long-term commitment to the creation of the International Peace Park.
February 27, 1999 - Rotarians present program on Peace Park at a board meeting of the Friends of Big Bend National Park at Big Bend National Park.
March 8, 1999 - Rotary International President-Elect (2000-2001) Frank Devlyn of Mexico City addresses District 4110 in Juarez offering his continued support for the District 5520/4110 effort to promote the creation of a Peace Park. At the meeting speaks about the project with members of the Juarez media.
March 30, 1999 - Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club proclaims support for District 5520/4110 Peace Park efforts.
April 1, 1999 - 12 page feature article, "Uniting La Frontera" in April issue of Environment magazine reports on Rotary efforts and other important information on ongoing efforts to Establish a Transboundary Park.
April 10, 1999 - Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt (US), Minister Julia Carabias (Mexico) and World Wildlife Fund President Kathryn Fuller join Big Bend National Park Staff and staff of the Maderas del Carmen and Canon de Santa Elena protected areas on a tour of the proposed Peace Park protected areas on both sides of the border. Big Bend Superintendent Jose Cisneros reports on Rotary Peace Park proposal.
April 11, 1999 - District 5520/4110 Peace Park Committee Meeting, El Paso, Texas.
April 16, 1999 - Lic. Leonor Ortiz Monasterio, Coordinator for Civil Matters at the National Palace in Mexico City, writes letter of support for Peace Park to Civil Ambassador Rosario Green Macias, Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Mexico.
May 4, 1999 - Friends of Big Bend National Park offers support for District 5520/4110 Peace Park efforts.
May 22, 1999 - Multi-Media program on the Peace Park project presented to Rotarians attending District 5520 Conference in Silver City, New Mexico.
June 3, 1999 - Peace Park article published in the Alpine Avalanche.
June 28, 1999 - El Paso Zoological Society offers support for District 5520/4110 Peace Park efforts.
July 20, 1999 - Embassador Miguel Ruiz Cabanas, Ministry of Foreign Relations, Mexico writes letter of to District 5520/4110 Committee stating that the Peace Park proposal has been sent to the Ministry of Environmental Protection, Natural Resources and Fishery (SEMARNAP).
August 6, 1999 - Peace Park was topic of discussion on KROD Radio Program, El Paso.
August 21, 1999 - District 5520/4110 Peace Park Committee Meeting, Juarez, Chihuahua.
August 11, 1999 - Letter from John E. Cook, Intermountain Regional Director on the National Park Service on behalf of Secretary of Interior Bruce Babbitt encourages Rotary International to continue its important advocacy role and to develop the political and diplomatic consensus that is required to establish such an international park.
August 18, 1999 - National Park Historian Dr. Michael Welsh addresses the Carlsbad Rotary Club and praises Rotarians for their efforts to help complete the 70 year effort to establish a Peace Park.
September 19, 1999 - Letter to the Editor on Peace Park published in El Paso Inc.
September 24, 1999 - Rotarians have a phone conference on the park with Congressman Silvestre Reyes at the office of Sonny Brown in El Paso. Congressman Reyes supports the effort to create the park.
September 25, 1999 - "Peace Across the Border" featured in the Sunday Living Section of the Carlsbad Current Argus.
September 11, 2001 - United States Attacked by Terrorists in New York City and Washington, DC
August 2, 2002 - Ernesto Enkerlin, Presidente, Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas (Mexico) informs Rick LoBello at a World Wildlife Fund sponsored meeting in Chihuahua City, Chihuahua that Mexico is interested in moving forward with discussions to establish an international park in the Big Bend area.
March 28, 2003 - Rotarians in El Paso meet with park officials from Big Bend and adjacent protected areas in Mexico at the University of Texas in El Paso to discuss a proposed International Park Conference to help move the project forward.
January, 2004 - Big Bend National Park Superintendent John Kings meets with Regional Director Steve Martin in Austin, Texas. At the meeting they address formulating a position paper on the international park and King meets with Texas Governor Perry's staff who state that the "Governor is upset with Mexico over water allocation issues and is not favorable disposed to working with them on things until such time as the water dispute is cleared up."
March 23, 2006 - US and Mexico sign Sister Parks NPS-CONANP Agreement setting the framework for increased cooperation on the US. Mexico border. This designation is considered by many to be a a first step towards formalizing a long-standing informal partnership that could eventually lead to a more formal, legislated type of designation.
October 26, 2006 - The Secure Fence Act of 2006 was enacted October 26, 2006 in the United States. The act allows for over 700 miles (1,100 km) of double-reinforced fence to be built along the border with Mexico across cities and deserts alike in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.
July 9, 2007 - Big Bend Superintendent Bill Wellman writes Rick LoBello at ILovePark.com the following:
An international park is certainly a good idea. As you well know, it has been discussed for many years and most likely will one day be a reality. It is a concept that the National Park Service continues to support. However, with the current national debate over border security and immigration, I fear you may have a difficult task resurrecting the project at this time. We do wish you well with your efforts.
July 10, 2007 - Congressman Ciro Rodriguez presents House Resolution 483 recognizing the 63rd Anniversary of Big Bend National Park, established on June 12, 1944. The resolution states that "Together with two Mexican protected areas, Big Bend is now part of the largest transboundary protected areas in North America, serving as a model for international cooperation."
July 19, 2007 - Texas Senator Elliot Shapleigh sends Congressman Ciro Rodriguez a letter in support of the international park.
January 23, 2008 - Hundreds of people in Presidio and Brewster County protest Homeland Security's plans to build a US/Mexico Border wall.
March 1, 2008 - In McAllen, Texas on the campaign trail President Candidate Barack Obama in speaking about the border fence/wall says that he "has no desire to pursue a costly and ineffective project."