Border Patrol, National Parks Service Part of Multi-Agency Collaboration Securing Big Bend National Park

Border Patrol, National Parks Service Part of Multi-Agency Collaboration Securing Big Bend National Park

By Alicia Neaves
NewsWest 9

BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK - The Big Bend National Park has miles and miles of rugged terrain. NewsWest 9 shows you how a unique multi-agency collaboration inside the park is keeping the border there safe.

"People might think that because it's such a vast area that it would be easier to enter and it's not. You've got many, many miles to cover and not much water out here," said Supervisory Border Patrol Agent, Tom Hyatt.

Covering 118 miles of rugged, remote terrain in the Big Bend National Park is Border Patrol Big Bend Sector and the National Parks Service responsibility.

Border Patrol agents hunt for any sign of illegal entry into the U.S. Some riding horseback 15-plus miles through the mountains.

"There's places these horses can go that you can't get to in your regular 4x4 vehicle or ATV and they're a force multiplier in that aspect," said Hyatt.

The mustangs are special. They are adopted from the wild out of the Nevada desert and Colorado.

"They're taken out of the wild and saddle broke. The Border Patrol has a contract to go and pick up a certain number of horses every year, depending on the budget. Then those horses are used exclusively in the field," said Hyatt.

Some of the Border Patrol agents actually call Big Bend National Park their home, with housing in Panther Junction. It's like its own little city there with a school and a post office, 100 miles away from the nearest town of Alpine.

Pair the Border Patrol horses with the Park Service airplanes and an ambulance running on 4x4's in cases of emergency, it's a multi-agency effort to ensure safety and secure the border.

"I've never seen a collaboration personally like we have here in Big Bend National Park," Hyatt said.