As Latino Conservation Week 2021 comes to a close, El Pasoans are urging President Joe Biden to fulfill the community’s long-standing desire to have Castner Range declared a national monument.
“El Pasoans have come together to rally around the designation of Castner Range as a national monument because we understand the value of conserving this land as a way to combat the climate crisis, protect our precious resources, lift up our unique cultural heritage, and increase equitable access to outdoor recreation,” said Congresswoman Veronica Escobar (TX-16).
“That’s why I’m proud to join conservationists, civic groups, and businesses in advocating for the creation of a national monument which will forever preserve the mesmerizing beauty and history of Castner Range.”
In May, the president gave fresh momentum to the movement when he announced his America the Beautiful policy which seeks to support locally-led conservation efforts which create jobs, protect drinking water, support healthy communities and distribute the benefits of open space equitably.
“While many El Pasoans know Castner Range for its dazzling display of poppies, the conservation case for Castner Range goes even further,” said Northeast City Rep. Joe Molinar. “Dedicating Castner Range as a national monument will provide more recreational opportunities and preserve the unspoiled mountain vistas not just for Northeast El Paso, but for the entire region.”
Once it’s designated as a national monument, Castner Range will join more than 800-square-miles of protected, public lands in El Paso County, Texas, and Doña Ana County, N.M., including Franklin Mountains State Park and Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument.
“I’m not a lifelong hiker. But when I found it, I loved it; it has led me to be more physically active, create irreplaceable memories with my grandchildren and meet amazing new friends in the hiking world,” said George Saenz who founded the ‘Exercise, No Extra Fries Hiking Group’ in 2019.
“Preserving open spaces like Castner Range will give more El Pasoans more opportunities to discover new ways to be active and connect to the Chihuahuan Desert.”
Castner Range is home to 7,081 acres of West Texas beauty and has historical significance that dates back thousands of years. It tells the story of how our region became the world’s largest binational community.
Visit CastnerRangeNationalMonument.org to sign the petition today to ask President Biden to permanently protect Castner Range and learn about the many benefits this open space provides to the entire Paso del Norte region.