Texas Canyon Preserved to Avoid Sprawl

Development has been creeping closer and closer to Palo Duro Canyon in Texas, the country's second biggest canyon. But despite a recent sale of nearby land to developers, preservationists have secured the deed to prevent sprawl from moving in.
November 16, 2008, 11am PST | Nate Berg
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"Palo Duro is 120 miles long and 8 miles wide. It lays claim as the second largest canyon in the country after the Grand Canyon. The canyon and river sustain a habitat that would have little chance on the open plains."

"Big horn sheep, mule and white tail deer, coyotes, bobcats and even a mountain lion recently took up residence."

"But what if instead of juniper and mesquite trees along the of canyon rim, there were hundreds of luxury homes with swimming pools, BMWs, gas grills, wrought iron fences and a championship golf course?"

"For the last 20 years, development south of Amarillo, Texas, has slowly been pushing toward the park."

"Last year, the owner of one large ranch that abuts the canyon decided to sell his 3,000 acres to developers. Six miles of canyon rim overlooking the heart of Palo Duro Canyon would have been transformed into a high-end suburb. The park's charm - its feeling of exquisite isolation - would have been lost forever."

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Published on Thursday, November 13, 2008 in NPR
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