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Big Bend's Boquillas crossing still on the drawing board

Written by , published December 14, 2012

Big Bend National Park's plan to re-open the Boquillas border crossing to Mexico is still pending, nearly two years after the park proposed the idea.

Park spokesman David Elkowitz tells TH that the plan is still in the works, but there’s no set schedule. The federal government closed the Rio Grande rowboat crossing at Boquillas in 2002 in the aftermath of 9/11.

Big Bend wants to re-open the crossing because it provides tourism opportunities and better access for park officials to work with their Mexican counterparts on natural resource management projects, Elkowitz says.

Before the crossing closed, the tiny town of Boquillas del Carmen drew visitors into Mexico with a couple of bar and restaurant establishments and tourist activities like horseback rides.

If the crossing is re-opened, Park Service personnel would man the crossing to provide information for tourists, Elkowitz says. The Department of Homeland Security would handle security checks via a kiosk operated by the Big Bend Border Patrol Sector.

The park concessionaire, Forever Resorts, would operate the johnboat to row crossers back and forth, at least for the first year, Elkowitz says.

The future of the Boquillas crossing may be up in the air, but tourism activities in the Big Bend region abound. Check out the Texas Highways Big Bend issue this February for inspiration.

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