EL PASO, Texas — El Pasoans know and love Castner Range for its annual display of golden poppies and—together with The Frontera Land Alliance, the El Paso Community Foundation and the Franklin Mountains Wilderness Coalition—have been working and campaigning to protect our Castner Range as a natural open area. El Paso has been seeking to conserve Castner Range since 1971, and now with the help of Congressman Beto O’Rourke we are one more step closer to realizing our community’s vision of a preserved and intact Castner Range National Monument.
Dozens of natural and cultural studies have led to the well-documented identification of a variety of plants, animals and archaeological sites that make the range’s 7,081 open-space acres worthy of protection as a National Monument. Researchers have identified more than forty archaeological and historical sites on the Range including extensive collections of petroglyphs, remnants of failed tin-mining operations, and small stone structures and pottery. A complete listing can be found in the Archaeological and Historical Background Study of Castner Range, now available at http://fronteralandalliance.org/
As of six months ago, more than 35,200 individuals from our city, county, region, state, nation and neighboring country had written letters asking then-President Barack Obama to designate El Paso’s Castner Range as America’s next National Monument.
Today we continue our push. Wording is now making its way through Congress that will strengthen our ability to protect this land. The bill under consideration states that it prevents future development and recognizes the land may not be conveyed to any other governmental, public, or private entity. The bill seeks to conserve and protect the ecological, scenic, wildlife, recreational, cultural, historical, natural, educational, and scientific resources of Castner Range.