The NPS and the Future of the Chisos Basin at Big Bend National Park

The NPS and the Future of the Chisos Basin at Big Bend National Park

Big Bend National Park is seeking public comment on plans to upgrade the Chisos Mountains Lodge and related infrastructure including a water pipeline from Oak Springs below the Window to provide water for the entire Chisos Mountains Basin development area. The following comments were sent to the National Park Service by email to ChisosLodge_Comments@nps.gov. The deadline for comments is May 21, 2022.

Dear Big Bend National Park,

I am writing today in response to your April 21, 2022 online presentation on plans for the Chisos Mountains Lodge.  I appreciate the opportunity and commend the NPS for its efforts to live up to its mission.  With this communication I respectfully ask that the NPS review all scientific data supporting earlier NPS recommendations which called for removing development, restoring natural corridors and revegetating 700 acres of the Chisos Basin and that funds to rebuild the Chisos Mountains Lodge and improve the Oak Springs water system be re-appropriated to finding a different location for these facilities in or outside the park.

I am one of thousands of people who love Big Bend National Park and have now been associated with the park for over 47 years.  When I listened to the online presentation about the Lodge I was very disappointed with the statement about how you were going to share a little bit of the history.  Unfortunately you completely left out any mention of the 1973 National Park Service report The Impact of Human Use Upon the Chisos Basin and Adjacent Lands.  As you know the report includes a summary of all the ways human activities have polluted the Chisos Basin and have affected the vegetation, drainage patterns and more.  Also, your press release and presentation states that the project is proposed, but the overall tone and content makes it sound like with the $22 Million in the NPS budget the project is a done deal.   There is also little information in the presentation on the potential impact of the Oak Springs pipeline project that will be necessary to adequately maintain this facility and other facilities in the Chisos Basin.

 

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