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Park Service Now Interested in Adding Christmas Mountains to Big Bend National Park

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Austin American-Statesman graphic.

National Park Service officials have decided that they are interested in obtaining the Christmas Mountains in Texas as an addition to Big Bend National Park. Austin American-Statesman graphic.

Better late than never? Well, it might be too late for the National Park Service, which has reversed itself on showing interest in adding more than 9,000 acres of land owned by the state of Texas to Big Bend National Park.

The state earlier this year indicated it wanted to sell the land in the Christmas Mountains, saying it couldn't properly manage the tract. While Park Service officials initially said they weren't interested in the parcel, which is northwest of Big Bend, on Friday the agency sent a letter of interest to the state's General Land Office.

But with the state wanting to sell the land in early November, the Park Service might have come into the picture too late. Another issue is that Texas officials want to ensure that whoever ends up owning the land continue to allow hunting on the property. And Big Bend is not open to hunting.

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