Photo Courtesy: Castner Range National Monument Facebook page
During Tuesday’s meeting, El Paso City Council voted to spend $3.5 million to acquire 366 acres of open space in Northeast El Paso near Castner Range.
Council’s vote represents the largest open space land acquisition by the City of El Paso.
“Preserving open space at the foothills of our majestic Franklin Mountains is an important investment in our future. It allows our beautiful desert environment to remain in its natural state for scenic and recreational purposes, and helps to balance land preservation and development,” Mayor Dee Margo said.
The City negotiated a total acquisition price of $3.5 million for approximate 280 acres and the donation of approximately 72 acres valued at $1.3 million. The remaining approximate 14 acres are to be dedicated to the City through a plat.
Funding for the land acquisition is a combination of monies approved by voters in 2012 for the preservation and stewardship of El Paso’s natural areas for the public and wildlife, and Public Service Board Dual Purpose Fund.
“Our aggressive pursuit of conservation opportunities is another example of the progress we have made in executing initiatives our voters have said are important to them,” City Manager Tommy Gonzalez said. “Since the election, we have negotiated the largest open space land acquisition in the City’s history, completed more than 60 bond projects and are getting dozens more projects shovel ready.”