Big Bend
Administrative History
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A Different Frontier: Mexico, the United States, And the Dream of an International Park, 1935-1940

Of all the initiatives pursued by the park service in the fateful year of 1935, none had the drama or complexity of the international peace park. Building momentum since the earliest days of park planning, and stimulated by policies in Mexico City and Washington to rethink each nation's relationship to the other, the idea of a joint park along the Rio Grande at Big Bend received its most serious attention in the fall of that year. In so doing, each nation learned a great deal about the conditions of the past that had separated them, while facing the obstacles of economic and ecological devastation that triggered FDR's "New Deal" and Lazaro Cardenas's reform movement. Optimism was in the air as officials at the highest levels explored the means of cooperation, while NPS personnel prepared for inclusion of the international park in the larger domain of Big Bend planning.

While much has been written about the conservation and "Good Neighbor" policies espoused by Franklin Roosevelt, less is known of the work of Cardenas and his advisors on environmental protection. Lane Simonian wrote that "indeed, the exploitation of natural resources has been the dominant theme in Mexican environmental history." He argued that "if the conventional wisdom is true that poor people cannot afford to protect natural resources, then there would be no basis for conservation in Mexico." Yet that is precisely what occurred in the 1930s, when Cardenas asked Miguel Angel de Quevedo to lead a newly created Departemento Forestal, Caza y Pesca (Department of Forestry, Game and Fish). Quevedo, who would work closely with NPS officials in 1935 and 1936 on the joint-park proposal, had studied forest conservation in Paris at the Ecole Polytechnique, receiving in 1889 a degree in civil engineering. His exposure to American conservation programs occurred in 1909, when outgoing President Theodore Roosevelt invited Quevedo to Washington to attend the "International North American Conference on the Conservation of Natural Resources." Consultations with the likes of Gifford Pinchot, Roosevelt's chief of the U.S. Forest Service, helped Quevedo develop an interest, said Simonian, that "lay less with the establishment of a forest industry based upon the principles of sustained yield than it did with the protection of forests because they were biologically indispensable." [1]

Quevedo's journey from the halls of the White House to the Big Bend of the Rio Grande symbolized not only the history of Mexican conservation, but also that of border relations and the twentieth century Mexican political economy. Eager to promote his ideas of forests and parks, Quevedo sought to interest revolutionary leaders like President Venustiano Carranza, who agreed in 1917 to establish outside of Mexico City the first Mexican national park: El Desierto de los Leones (The Desert of the Lions). Five years later, Quevedo had formed the private "Mexican Forest Society," and petitioned President Plutarco Elias Calles "to establish national parks in areas with high biological, scenic . . . and recreational values." Calles did not implement Quevedo's plan, and Simonian summarized Mexico's conservation ethic by the 1930s as "weakened by the disinterest of powerful Mexican officials and by a lack of general public support." [2]

Quevedo's persistence would pay off, and hopes for a true national park system in Mexico would rise, when President Cardenas announced that, in the words of Simonian, "conservation was in the national interests and the irrational exploitation of the land must come to an end." Michael C. Meyer and William L. Sherman, authors of The Course of Mexican History (1995), described Cardenas as "intensely interested in social reform." The Mexican leader also "had that special charismatic quality of evoking passionate enthusiasm among many and strong dislike among some." He inherited a nation that was but 20 percent urban, and where rural "per capita income, infant mortality, and indeed life expectancy lagged behind that of cities." To address these inadequacies, said Simonian, Cardenas's "administration undertook the largest land reform program in Mexican history, extended irrigation projects to small farmers, experimented with alternative 'crops,' such as silkworms and sunflowers (for the oil), created rural industries, and established fishing and forestry cooperatives." Cardenas also approved of Quevedo's efforts to mitigate erosion caused by deforestation of Mexican lands. From 1934 to 1940, Quevedo oversaw the planting of some two million trees in the Valley of Mexico alone, and four million more throughout the republic. This commitment encouraged Quevedo to press for more work, in that "Mexico's forest problem was so complex and so difficult that only a permanent campaign that enlisted the support of the entire citizenry on behalf of forest conservation could succeed." Finally, Quevedo worked with Cardenas to establish some 40 national parks in Mexico, although in the words of Simonian: "Twenty two were less than the size of Hot Springs National Park [in Arkansas], the smallest national park in the United States." [3]

The limitations that Cardenas placed in the summer and fall of 1935 on Quevedo's plans for national parks would hinder negotiations with the United States. "Like their U.S. counterparts," wrote Simonian, "Mexican officials rarely created national parks that incorporated whole ecosystems." Quevedo identified park lands based upon their "scenic beauty, recreational potential, and ecological value." Much like the NPS, the Mexican system of parks would be promoted for their "therapeutic value." Finally, Quevedo "believed that international tourism would further cooperation between Mexico and other countries;" a key feature of FDR's Good Neighbor Policy and his New Deal ventures into natural and cultural resource preservation. This meant an emphasis on park development in and near the population centers of Mexico, especially its capital city. "Quevedo created a national park system," said Simonian, "whose centerpiece was the high coniferous forests of the central plateau." How this concentration of resources and attention far to the south of the Rio Grande would affect negotiations for a joint international park became clear as the two countries planned meetings along the border, and talked at the highest diplomatic levels about a partnership never before attempted. [4]

Given the circuitous journey taken since 1935 to establish an international park in the Big Bend area, the speed with which American and Mexican officials moved that year engendered hope for the future of the partnership. Interior Secretary Harold Ickes had asked Secretary of State Cordell Hull to formulate the diplomatic protocol for planning such an endeavor. Ickes himself envisioned naming the new park (or at least the American side) the "Jane Addams International Peace Park." John Jameson wrote that the Interior secretary saw this as "a fitting memorial to a fellow Chicagoan and the winner of the 1931 Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of her lifelong commitment to international peace and understanding." Addams had brought to the immigrant neighborhoods of late-nineteenth century Chicago the British concept of the "settlement house," where educated reformers (both male and female) would teach middle-class values and American citizenship. Popularized in her book, Twenty Years at Hull House, Addams's outreach programs increasingly included Latinos recruited to the Midwest to replace the European ethnic groups she had first encountered in the 1880s and 1890s. Ickes, who had worked in Progressive-era reform programs in his hometown of Chicago, saw a strong connection between Addams' service to Latinos, the president's initiatives for better relations with Mexico, and the appeal of an international park dedicated to peace in an era of escalating tensions in Europe and the Far East. [5]

Word of Mexico's commitment to the discussions came in late July, as U.S. ambassador Josephus Daniels wrote to Hull that "it is my understanding that the Bureau of Forestry of the Mexican Government has written to the Foreign Office expressing its interest in the project." Daniel Galicia, chief of the Mexican forestry bureau, informed Daniels that "he was sending an expedition into Coahuila and Chihuahua in about three weeks to study the possibility of establishing a corresponding reserve on the Mexican side of the Rio Grande." Galicia had asked the American diplomat "especially for a map showing exactly the areas involved in the American project and any other [particulars] which might be of assistance to him in making plans for a Mexican park." Galicia's superior, Miguel Angel de Quevedo, also asked Daniels to coordinate a meeting with U.S. officials on the initiative. "I found Mr. Quevedo personally most enthusiastic at the idea," said Daniels, with "his chief interest [being] the possibility of making the park a great game reserve." Quevedo mentioned to the U.S. ambassador that "the big game in the northwestern part of the State of Coahuila, some of the finest in the country, is in danger of extinction." Daniels believed that "the Government already owns much of the land in this section and that the President has approved the drafting of a bill for submission to the next Congress authorizing the Forestry Department to issue bonds for the purchase of any additional lands necessary for national parks." Quevedo and Daniels also discussed "the naming of the park," and the former stated that "this was a matter on which [the Mexican] Congress and the authorities of the States concerned would probably wish to be consulted." [6]

To expedite the request of Galicia and Quevedo, American and Mexican officials met in El Paso on October 5 to plan for a larger conference in that border city the following month. There Herbert Maier learned from Galicia and from Armando Santacruz, Junior, Mexico's commissioner to the International Boundary Commission, of that nation's interest in water projects along the Rio Grande. Maier quickly corresponded after the meeting with L.R. Fiock, regional director of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR), about Santacruz's suggestion "that it is the plan [of the IBC] to erect three dams along the Rio Grande in the Big Bend area;" one each at the mouths of Santa Elena, Mariscal, and Boquillas Canyons. "From what he said," reported Maier, "I gathered that the U.S. Federal Government tentatively favors the erection of these dams." Maier recalled that upon his most recent visit to the Big Bend, he had heard of "the possibility of such dam promotion." This he had dismissed because, "as you know, dams have been proposed for about every strategic point on about every river in the United States during the past decade." The NPS officials told Fiock that "even if the Mexican government favors such a move, I am sure that it will be out the line of normal policy to approve of our participation in these hydraulic ventures because . . . our national park areas are to be maintained in their wilderness state." Maier decided not to engage Santacruz in a discussion of NPS policy "because I did not wish to complicate the picture." He informed the USBR official that "it has been tentatively proposed that the area on the Mexican side be set aside as a large Forest and Game Preserve." He knew that the Rio Grande's international status meant that "such hydraulic ventures would have to be anticipated." Yet the United States, "on the basis of its future adoption of the area as a national park, can withhold participation in such ventures if that appears advisable." As Fiock had replaced the current U.S. commissioner to the IBC, L.M. Lawson, Maier asked that Fiock supply him "with information as to what extent the U.S. Reclamation Service is seriously considering the erection of dams at these three canyons." He also asked that Fiock "hold the matter of my inquiry confidential," as Maier knew that the NPS's Washington office would handle all conversations with Mexican officials on this matter. [7]

Issues of water quality and quantity would affect management of Big Bend National Park from its inception. Thus Fiock's response to Maier's confidential inquiry revealed how each nation would envision water resource planning in the Big Bend area. Fiock claimed that he possessed only "meager knowledge" of the "proposed construction of dams on the Rio Grande below El Paso." He had not worked on the surveys for water projects between that city and the Gulf of Mexico, but did have access to informal details within the USBR. "In 1919," Fiock recalled, "the Bureau of Reclamation through some cooperative arrangements with the Irrigation Districts of the Lower Rio Grande Valley (Brownsville section) made a preliminary investigation of possible storage reservoir sites." He also knew that "being an International proposition the International Boundary Commission, . . . [had] interested themselves during the past several years in these matters." This led Fiock to believe that the IBC was "working cooperatively on plans, at least to the extent of collecting necessary essential data." The USBR official had visited the three canyons of the future park, and considered them "exceedingly favorable for dam construction." He cautioned Maier that "it seems doubtful that there is a sufficient discharge of water in the Rio Grande at these points to fill the reservoir which could be created by either one of them." Fiock reminded Maier that "the flow of the Upper Rio Grande is entirely controlled by Elephant Butte Dam and Reservoir," north of Las Cruces, "and there are no large tributaries to the Rio Grande between Elephant Butte and the Pecos River," below the proposed national park. In Mexico the only stream flowing into the Rio Grande in the vicinity was the Rio Conchos, and "there is already constructed on the Conchos River a dam and reservoir almost identical in proportions with Elephant Butte [itself a storage basin of two million acre-feet of water]." [8]

Besides the lack of water quantity in the Rio Grande through the Big Bend, Fiock also noted the use of irrigation far from the park. "Construction of dams in the canyons of the Big Bend," said the USBR official, "can not provide major flood control to the lower Rio Grande Valley because of the tributaries which produce high runoff which causes the destructive floods entering the Rio Grande below the dam sites." Even if "international relations permit and funds [are] made available," said Fiock, "the first dams to be constructed will be as far down the Rio Grande as possible and still be above the Lower Rio Grande Valley." The USBR knew of two such sites: "the Salineno site for a dam and regulating reservoir and the El Jardine site for storage and flood control." Then Fiock suggested that "there are no favorable sites between the El Jardine site and the canyons of the Big Bend." This meant that "possibly the Boquillas site or one even below that would be chosen if it is at all possible to find a satisfactory site on farther down the river." He then hinted that "apparently the only reason there would be for consideration of the construction of more than one dam in the canyons of the Big Bend would be for the purpose of power development." Yet "the isolation of the territory from any large power market even if there was river discharge enough to generate any appreciable quantity of power," said Fiock, meant that "the chances of development of power possibilities are very remote indeed." Should that be the case, "dams could be constructed at each successive site which would back water to the dam next above and so on down the river through the entire canyon section of the Big Bend." [9]

Fiock's ambivalent stance on water projects in the Big Bend canyons led Maier to correspond with his superior in Washington, Conrad Wirth, about inclusion of this topic in the upcoming meetings with Mexican officials. Even though Maier had confidence that the Interior department could block such projects, he told Wirth that "I want to have first-hand information as to just what the U.S. Reclamation Service and the International Boundary Commission down there really have had in mind." Thus Maier had initiated his contact with the El Paso office of the USBR. "This had taken a little time," he told Wirth in explaining the lateness of his report on the October 5 meeting in El Paso with Mexican representatives. It also "has had to be handled carefully," Maier noted, "because we do not wish to 'scare' the Mexican officials away from the park idea." [10]

Soon thereafter, L.M. Lawson of the IBC contacted Maier to offer his thoughts on the Big Bend dam issue. Lawson's organization "[had] for some time been engaged in a study regarding the equitable uses of the waters of the Lower Rio Grande," said the U.S. commissioner, "and [had] been active in the measurement of discharges of the main Rio Grande and tributaries." In recent years "extremely large flood flows and serious water shortages" throughout the length of the Rio Grande had raised "the question of flood control and conservation of water." In August 1935, President Roosevelt had signed legislation that gave the IBC authority to conduct technical and other investigations relating to flood control, water resources, conservation, and utilization of water, sanitation and prevention of pollution, channel rectification, and stabilization and other related matters upon the international boundary. This had granted the IBC its access to the Big Bend area, though Lawson echoed the thoughts of the USBR when he told Maier: "The use of water, both in the United States and Mexico, above the Presidio Valley, which is the beginning of the Big Bend district, results in very little accumulation to the river from the upper Rio Grande." Records kept by the IBC "would indicate that about seventy percent of the Lower Rio Grande flow come from Mexican tributaries, with the remaining percentage from the Devils and Pecos Rivers of Texas." [11]

Lawson then advised Maier that "while some flood control works are now being construction by the Commission on the Lower Rio Grande, "others are planned in and below the Big Bend district." His agency had studied "a number of damsites . . . with the view of developing storage and hydroelectric power." Mexico and the United States, Lawson conceded, "have not yet come to final agreement upon the equitable distribution of the international waters." The IBC commissioner also admitted: "Nor have final plans reached any definite form as to which storage site in the Big Bend district would be the most feasible and economical." Lawson assured Maier that "this decision . . . rests upon the joint determination of the undertaking." He then closed with the vague statement that "it can be assumed that at some future date plans will be carried out to some finality in taking advantage of the storage possibilities that exist between the canyon section of the Rio Grande in the Big Bend district." [12]

While planning for water projects worried Herbert Maier, he also had to oversee the details of the first major gathering in the twentieth century of Mexican and U.S. officials on border issues. Less than two decades after the "raids" by Pancho Villa and the resultant Pershing expedition into Mexico, American and Mexican scientists, park officials, and diplomats agreed to assemble in El Paso. Even before this meeting on November 24, 1935, Maier coordinate a visit to Arizona by Daniel Galicia, Maynard Johnson, and Walter McDougall to accompany a U.S. Biological Survey party in the "King and Houserock Valley Refugees areas in Arizona." Their goal was consideration of the plans for the "Ajo Mountain National Monument," later to become Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. Galicia noted that this desert plant extended from southwestern Arizona to the Gulf of California. This shared ecosystem prompted calls for an international park on the Arizona-Mexico border similar to Big Bend. Maier suggested to Conrad Wirth that this surge of interest by Mexican officials might be enhanced not only by the El Paso meeting, but also by extension of invitations to Miguel Angel de Quevedo and other Mexican park officials to travel to Washington in January 1936 to attend the annual NPS superintendents' conference. "It occurs to me," wrote Maier, "that, after all, the final conference on the birth of the International Park should be considered rather an historic event." In conjunction with the anticipated agreement between Mexico and the United States, Maier encouraged Wirth to extend the hand of friendship to the NPS's future partners at Big Bend. "This will not only impress them with the importance of what they are entering into," said Maier, "but should go a long ways towards assuring the success of the undertaking." In turn, the presence of Mexican park planners would "make a favorable impression on the National Park Superintendents and others attending this conference." Quevedo, Galicia, and their associates would thus represent the future of U.S.-Mexican border relations in ways that no one could have anticipated even a decade earlier. [13]

Pursuant to this meeting, and the prior engagement in El Paso, Maier asked Johnson and McDougall for their thoughts on the boundaries for a Mexican park opposite Big Bend. The surveyors disappointed Maier, in that they had not traveled into the Mexican interior. In addition, said Johnson and McDougall, "we know of no one who has made a sufficient investigation of it to attempt a location of boundaries." CCC superintendent Morgan did inform Maier that on July 4, he had entertained a "Dr. Francisco Del Rio," who represented the governors of Coahuila and Chihuahua. Del Rio reported that the Mexican Government is interested and would establish a park of such an area as would be in keeping with the one established in the Big Bend. Morgan noted that Del Rio spent one day in the area, "but was not sufficiently familiar with it to make definite boundary recommendations." Johnson and McDougall did know that Daniel Galicia "is to go into the region for a preliminary survey and then to return later with a party of engineers and surveyors for a more thorough investigation. Galicia had indicated to them that he would make this trip after his survey of the international park at Ajo Mountain. For his part, the chief forester for the Republic of Mexico wrote to Maier on November 12 to indicate his support for collaboration with the United States. "I wish you'd know how glad I'm with it," said Galicia, "because we've found a probability to [e]stablish a[n] Inter-National Park in Punta Penasco, Sonora State, and game refuge along the border." He planned after the first of the year to visit the Boquillas area. "It would be very convenient for you and Mr. de Quevedo to [discuss] the matter over, on his [upcoming] visit to El Paso." Galicia then thanked Maier for sending him booklets on NPS units in the region, and promised to devote time to discussing Big Bend and Punta Penasco at the El Paso conference. [14]

As the international park meeting neared, NPS officials in Washington asked Mexican officials to visit other sites in the United States to observe how the park service did business. Arthur E. Demaray, acting NPS director, wrote to Juan Zinser, chief of the game division of the Departemento Forestal y Caza y Pesca, when he learned that Zinser had decided to travel to California after leaving the El Paso conference. "I hope very much," said Demaray, "that you will be able to visit some of our national parks on the way." This gesture emanated from "the recent resolutions of the Second General Assembly of the Pan American Institute of Geography and History urging park systems for other American countries." Demaray recommended the Grand Canyon "and some of the national monuments established to give protection to historic areas of great interest." In California, Zinser should see Sequoia and Yosemite National Parks. Then he should travel to San Francisco, where "you will find a group of [NPS] engineers and landscape architects who are fully conversant with park policy and operation." Finally, Demaray suggested contacting the California fish and game commission, "the State organization with which Mexico has long cooperated in connection with fisheries off the coast of lower California." The acting director described "this outstanding conservation organization" as "typical of the machinery utilized by the states in enforcing regulations concerning fish and game in conserving natural resources." This effort by the NPS was well-received by Zinser, whom Lane Simonian identified as the member of Quevedo's staff who "established wildlife refuges, signed a migratory bird treaty with the United States, and fostered the establishment of hunting groups" in northern Mexico. [15]

When the historic day arrived, NPS and Mexican park officials demonstrated an eagerness for cooperation and partnership that overrode any concerns held by Herbert Maier about the details of an international park. Among the attendees from Mexico were Miguel Angel de Quevedo, Daniel Galicia, Juan Zinser, Jose H. Serrano and Juan Thacker of Quevedo's staff, and Armando Santacruz, Junior, of the IBC. Other Mexican representatives came from the states of Coahuila, Chihuahua, and Sonora (the latter to discuss the Ajo Mountain park proposal). American officials included Maier, Frank Pinkley of the Southwestern National Monuments, Vincent Vandiver, regional geologist for the park service, Don A. Gilchrist, director of Region Three of the U.S. Biological Survey, and Charles E. Gillham, game management agent for the biological survey. Maier reported to Conrad Wirth that "the primary purpose of the conference was to afford the Mexican representatives an opportunity for an official indication as to the extent of their participation in national park, monument, and wildlife undertakings immediately along the International Boundary." In so doing, "there was compiled a set of eight resolutions outlining preliminary policy covering the creation and administration of such areas along and extending over into both sides of the boundary." [16]

First among the resolutions was the statement that "the Mexican Government accepts the suggestion of the United States Government for the creation of International Parks designed to include adjacent areas of outstanding scenic beauty on both sides of the International Boundary." From this would come "fostering of a closer understanding between the peoples of the two nations and inaugurating a joint effort for the conservation of natural resources." They saw as critical "the conservation of plants, animals and birds and of all such natural conditions." Each park unit "will be controlled by the proper Department of each Government, subject to joint Regulations to be agreed upon for the maintenance and conservation of the areas involved." Wildlife refuges would be an important feature of international park planning, with "regulations . . . to properly provide for the crossing of the Border by administrative forces as well as the wild life," while "peculiar and beautiful vegetation and outstanding geological phenomena" merited their own "National Reservations." Reflecting Quevedo's concerns for ecological zones shared by border towns, the conference resolved that "with a view to improving the esthetic and health conditions as well as for recreational value to the present communities along the Border[,] it is recommended that the two Governments cooperate in establishing forest plantations around these communities in both Countries." Finally, the attendees declared the need to make permanent the partnership forged in El Paso that day, with a "Joint Commission" created "to carry out at an early date the necessary investigations and surveys for the location of the areas to be included in the proposed International Parks, wild life Refuges, plant Reserves and forest plantations." They then called for another meeting in the Texas border city no later than January 15, 1936, with submission of their findings and recommendations to the leaders of their respective nations some 60 days thereafter. [17]

Herbert Maier analyzed the tone and mood of this conference, and found much to commend. The NPS already had studied the American portion of suggested international park units at Big Bend, the "Espuelos Mountains" of Mexico and the "Hatchet Mountains and Animas-Pelonicello areas" of southwestern New Mexico and southeastern Arizona, and the proposed Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument (including the "Rocky Point Area [Bahia Adair]" of Mexico). The latter site had garnered the support of Mexican park officials, who envisioned "a recreational area for fishing and bathing" that would be "accessible from the International-Pacific Highway leading from Mexico City and Guadalajara up the coast to Southern California." [18]

For Maier and his colleagues, the "only international park in which the National Park Service is, or is likely to be, interested in along the Boundary is the Big Bend." Maier liked the suggestion of Quevedo for tree plantations at border communities; something that the forest, fish and game chief had observed in his drive with NPS officials from Laredo to El Paso. Maier praised Quevedo for his "early outstanding record in the reforestation of land surrounding [Mexico City]," and agreed that "such undertakings will be highly worthy and could probably be carried out on our side under the extended CCC program." SWNM superintendent Frank Pinkley noted that each nation need not be bound by the designation given to an area, such as a wildlife refuge adjoining a national park, as "desirable ranges of scenery, fauna or flora, [should] be units rather than limited as at present to an arbitrary line." [19]

The NPS's Maier then offered his assessment of the mood of the attendees, describing that of the Mexican representatives as "earnest and enthusiastic." "Senor de Quevedo," said Maier, "although seventy, is a very energetic individual." Reiterating details of Quevedo's meeting in Washington in 1909 with Theodore Roosevelt and Gifford Pinchot, Maier noted that he also "is an honorary member of the Society of American Foresters." Quevedo informed Maier of "the legislation he now has in process of formation which will enable his Department to regulate and practically prohibit hunting along the entire Mexican-U.S. Boundary within a zone 150 kilometers [90 miles] south of the international line," a measure that Quevedo assured Maier "has already received the approval of Pres. Cardenas and the Cabinet." Maier then advised Quevedo on his itinerary of western U.S. parks, hoping that he could see the Grand Canyon because of "a similar area in the State of Chihuahua which is also a mile in depth and which the Mexican government has under consideration as a national park [Copper Canyon in the Rio Conchos basin]." Quevedo did not have time to travel to Arizona, but "being primarily a forester," said Maier, "he desired above everything else to see the Sequoia." [20]

Most critical, however, were Quevedo's thoughts on Big Bend National Park. "The Mexican Government," Maier learned from Quevedo, "is prepared to prohibit all hunting on the Mexican side of the Big Bend at an early date." Quevedo also hoped that "the boundaries of the Mexican area shall be based upon biological as well as scenic considerations." While "the bulk of the land is in private ownership (large ranch holdings)," said Maier, "Quevedo stated definitely that he favors the undertaking of a program of land acquisition covering all lands within the boundaries to be proposed." Maier and Quevedo agreed that "this, of course, will be a long term program." The American land-purchase program "will no doubt require several years for acquisition by the State of Texas," wrote Maier, "and just how rapid land acquisition by the Mexican Department will be, it is impossible now to [gauge]." Maier contended that "it is natural to assume that land acquisition may be more difficult for the Mexicans to effect than with us." Yet he saw hope in the suggestion by Daniel Galicia for "acquisition by exchange." [21]

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Last Updated: 03-Mar-2003