What’s in a Hueco?

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A species of Tadpole shrimps (Notostraca) living in temporarily water-filled pools. Length of this specimen: about 2.5 cm / 1 inch (incl. furca of the tail).  by Christian Fischer

What’s in a Hueco? An interpretive hike of aquatic habitats at Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site.

Leader: Liz Walsh, Professor of Biological Sciences, UTEP and National Sierra Club Treasurer & Executive Committee Board Member

Duration: 2 hr

Date: October 15

Time: Meet at Hueco Tanks at 9am

Limit: 10

Join Sierran and UTEP Professor Liz Walsh on a hike to explore aquatic habitats at Hueco Tanks. Liz has been studying life in the huecos and other temporary aquatic habitats at Hueco Tanks for over 20 years. During the hike, we will visit very temporary huecos that are the home to specialized communities of animals including fairy shrimp, tadpole shrimp, waterbears and even an endemic species of rotifer. Liz will explain how these organisms persist during prolonged periods of dessication and exposure to the elements. We will also visit larger temporary waterbodies such as Laguna Prieta where, in addition to fairy and tadpole shrimp, hundreds of species of invertebrates thrive during the wet season. Wear sturdy shoes, bring plenty of water and a snack for this 2 hr hike to North and East Mountain sites.​​

Student group visits Organ Mountains

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Sierra Student Coalition coordinator Neysa Hardin recently led a hike  to the Organ Mountains and Desert Peaks National Monument, one of the 27 national monuments that are under threat of being rescinded by the current administration. With passion and curiosity for nature, biology, history, archeology–the young people who are members of the Sierra Student Coalition deeply care about their national parks and monuments.

It was a great day to be in the mountains. We stand with our public lands!

Quarterly Report

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The El Paso Sierra Club Group is part of the Rio Grande Chapter.   Our chair, Laurence Gibson, recently compiled this quarterly report.

SSC leader Neysa Hardin recently took 25 Americas High School students to Hueco Tanks State Park for solar eclipse viewing.

Vice-Chair Jim Tolbert’s is back on the Excom as vice-chair and program chair. He wants to re-establish regular monthly general meetings, checking with all the single-issue egroups for a clear date, searching for a venue, and beginning to line up speakers through the spring semester. October program will probably be members showing photos from summer outings. Now that he is free of City Council, Jim may resume his crusade to stop Cemex from threatening the Franklin Mountains State Park boundary. A survey is needed, but Parks and Wildlife has no funding, and Cemex no interest!

We have our own website once again at elpasosierraclub.org, thanks to excom member Rick LoBello. Our previous site was shut down by David Van Winkle when he introduced the Sierra Club to the Drupal open source platform several years ago.

Glass recycling in El Paso continues, but on “life-support” as reported by ex-city councilman Tolbert. Reaganomics, with services needing to pay for themselves, is the big problem. New Republican mayor has yet to weigh in. We would like to contact bar owners to pick up their glass but they are contracted out, mosrly with Waste Management. New activist from Austin reports her apartment complex is not allowed to recycle anything. (Waste Management again)

El Paso Zoo Educational Curator Rick LoBello continues efforts to awaken interest in restoring the wolf to Texas with over 4,000 letters from zoo visitors. Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept is now citing a state law, intended for citizens really, that forbids releasing wolves on to the land. It will take research and pressure from large-scale landowners to change the rule. Unlike New Mexico and Arizona, Texas has little public land. Rick is looking for researchers to help with a peer reviewed research project on the feasibility of returning wolves to Texas (ricklobello@gmail.com) . Obviously, this is a long-term project.

Group membership continues to rise, courtesy of the Trump administration. We are approaching 600 members now.