Keeping a dream alive

The story of using WILD9 to help create a 3 million acre transboundary protected area.

by Rick LoBello

In November 2009, the World Wildness Congress – WILD9 hosted 1800 delegates from 50 countries in Merida, Mexico, and over 12,000 online participants from 130 countries. Opened by President Felipe Calderon, WILD9 conveyed a an extraordinary atmosphere of hope and enthusiasm.  With the central theme of wilderness, people and climate change, the WILD9 process addressed the most imperative environmental issues.

At that meeting many inspiring and practical solutions for wild nature and people were discussed. In this brief video, two former Ministers — Juan Elvira (Mexico) and Kenneth Salazar (USA) – share their story of working with WILD’s team planning WILD9 (9th WWC, Mexico, 2009) to create a transboundary, bi-national protected area of 3 million acres (1.2 million hectares).

Over the past 30 plus years I have been working at keeping a 85 year old dream for Texas and Mexico alive.  An international designation of a transboundary protected area in the Big Bend Rio Bravo region would help to call attention to the importance of collaboratively protecting the entire Big Bend and adjoining areas in Coahuila and Chihuahua and their fragile environments from development projects.  Few people who love our national parks and Big Bend know the story of how Big Bend National Park was never meant to be a park on one side of the border only, and how it was originally proposed to be an international park.  Check out the timeline and just the facts on this site and let your elected representatives and others know how you would like to see this dream come true.  Protecting this fragile desert mountain region and its wildlife and culture is important to the quality of life of people who live there and to ecotourism which is important to the economy of both countries.





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