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Feb 26, 2001

New park created in Mountain Pine Ridge

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The Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve may be suffering from the devastation of the Southern Bark Beetle, but that has not stopped the creation of a new park in the reserve’s northwestern corner. Minister of Natural Resources Johnny Briceno signed the official instrument on Friday night at the San Antonio Agricultural Fair, designating approximately five thousand acres as the Don Elijio Panti National Park. Panti, now deceased, was an internationally known Mayan doctor/priest who resided in San Antonio, Cayo. The new park covers varied terrain including a number of different forest types, spectacular waterfalls, caves and ancient Maya sites. News 5 visited the area in late 1999 when residents of nearby communities first proposed the park’s designation. Park Chairman Maria Garcia said that she expects the project to bring economic benefits to the village of Seven Miles, Cristo Rey and San Antonio. Over the next few years, roads, trails, and shelters will be built in the park and guides trained to accommodate visitors.

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