Department of the Interior
Office of the Secretary
For Release: March 24, 2006
Contact: Isabel Benemelis-Nicoli
Interior Deputy Secretary P. Lynn Scarlett and
Undersecretary Felipe Adrian Vasquez of the Ministry for Environment and Natural Resources, Officially Designate Seven Sister Parks During 2006 U.S.- Mexico Bi-national Commission
WASHINGTON -Deputy Secretary of the Interior P. Lynn Scarlett and her Mexican counterpart, Felipe Adrian Vasquez, Undersecretary of the Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT), signed a Joint Declaration of Sister Park Partnerships, officially designating seven sister area relationships between the two countries.
"For the past several years, the National Park Service (NPS), and the National Commission on Natural and Protected Areas (CONANP), have met and developed plans for implementing sister park relationships where there are shared resources and common management challenges," said Scarlett. "Today, we celebrate the success of the sister park initiative and look to build on this partnership by extending our cooperation for another five years under a new agreement also to be signed today."
Under the Sister Park initiative, NPS sites provided their Mexican counterparts with training in a variety of fields, helped set up monitoring protocols, developed interpretive materials, and in one case, provided a sister park with surplus U.S. firefighting equipment. Mexican parks, in return, provided the NPS with much needed assistance in controlling invasive species, fighting wild land fires, monitoring of shared species, and more.
"I'm very happy that the agreement has been extended," said Vasquez. "The sister park initiative is a good example of how Mexico and the U.S. can create synergies and opportunities of mutual benefit by working collaboratively in the management of natural resources along the border and in other natural protected areas beyond."
The seven parks designated under the Declaration of Sister Park Partnerships include:
Department of the Interior Main Website: www.doi.gov
National Park Service Main Website: www.nps.gov
NPS Sister Parks Website: http://www.nps.gov/oia/topics/sister.htm