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Home | Tag Archives: frontera land alliance

Tag Archives: frontera land alliance

Hikers, Preservationists Upset Over Graffiti on Mountain Trail

Over the weekend, hikers expecting to see nature’s beauty were shocked to find that vandals had struck their favorite trail.

According to social media posts, vandals spray painted rocks at the trailhead for the Ron Coleman trail, as well as other areas along the trail.

Photos taken by Rick Lobello show large rocks that had been defaced with various colors of spray paint.

Outraged by damage done, hikers and preservationists reached out to fellow El Pasoans to take on the challenge of cleaning up the mess, not just at the trailhead, but along the trail as well, and up into the cave in McKelligon Canyon.

Photo courtesy Rick LoBello

Via the El Paso Naturally webpage,  the Director of the Frontera Land Alliance, Janae Reneaud Field submitted the following tips for those wishing to clean up the graffiti.

To remove need to coordinate volunteers, buy the supplies such as graffiti remover and wire brushes or course sponges (City may have some graffiti removed they could donate) and a lot of elbow grease.

Spray paint on rocks is sometimes difficult, although not impossible, to remove. If the rock is porous, you’ll need to do a lot more scrubbing after using the appropriate removal product.

If the rock is decorative and has been polished, removal is easier.

No matter the rock, many products have been designed specifically for spray paint removal. You’ll find these—as aerosol sprays and other forms—at most hardware and home improvement retailers.  (A step by step is listed via this link)

Residents interested in helping clean up the graffiti and the trail can contact Janae Reneaud Field, at the Frontera Land Alliance, at 915-351-8352.

Ribbon Cutting for Wakeem/Teschner Nature Preserve Trail set for Wednesday

This Wednesday,  Frontera Land Alliance (Frontera) will be hosting both a ribbon cutting celebrating the creation of a ½ mile education trail and a guided hike of the Wakeem/Teschner Nature Preserve.

Frontera officials say the celebration will “highlight the importance of land conservation for El Paso’s and Texas’s future and thank our dedicated volunteers and supporters.” Frontera believes that this event is happening at a critical time for the future of El Paso.

“The actions we take today have many long-lasting consequences for our state, our region and our future,” says Scott Cutler, Frontera President. “Living here wouldn’t be the same without wild places to explore and clean, safe water to fuel that exploration.”

 

Cutler also believes that land trusts can bring people together.

“The lands that we protect make up the special fabric of the place that we call home.” “We are El Pasoans, working together to conserve the lands we grew up with and the water we depend on,” says Janaé Reneaud Field, Executive Director of Frontera. “We want to ensure that our landscape can be left intact for all of us today and for the future.”

According to the Frontera website, Resler Canyon was their first land preservation project; aided by the donation of funds to purchase the land by Dr. Richard Teschner in 2005 (full story here).  Water flow from the canyon feeds the Keystone Wetland, a city-owned, privately-managed natural area and site of the archeological remains of a 4000-year-old Native American village. The mile-long length of Resler arroyo soils and plants provide vital filtering that enhances the water quality for this rare desert wetland.

The Resler Canyon Ribbon Cutting will be held Wednesday, May 16, 2018, at the Northern dead-end of Cadiz Street. Directions can be found here.

The ceremony will begin at 4 p.m. with a few remarks from Dr. Richard Teschner and Mr. Charlie Wakeem, co-founders of the preserve, followed by a guided walk on the education trail.

Learn more about Frontera at their website and visit the Texas Land Trust Council’s website for more information on land trusts and preservation efforts.

Frontera, Community Foundation Enter Partnership in Fund for Conservation

Thursday morning, the Frontera Land Alliance (Frontera) announced the establishment of the Frontera Land Alliance Endowment Fund at the El Paso Community Foundation.

The newly-established Fund will help Frontera support a growing number of projects and programs that maximize its impact on the conservation of El Paso’s water, land and wildlife.

Via a news release, officials with Frontera stated, “With sustained financial support, Frontera can do an even better job of making sure our region’s future generations have pristine open space to treasure and enjoy forever…Frontera believes that everyone should have the ability to live in a healthy community and enjoy a connection with nature.”

Founded in 2004, when community members realized there was an urgent need to preserve some of the important remaining natural and working lands in El Paso and southern New Mexico, Frontera has developed the knowledge and expertise to provide guidance to land owners wanting to maintain the character of their land.

“When land trusts include more people, more lives are improved and, in turn, broader support for conservation is generated. The U.S. population is expected to grow by 100 million people over the next 50 years. This means an ever-increasing pressure to develop more land. Our population is also becoming more diverse which means diverse constituents must be served to stay relevant. In addition to demographic changes, many Americans of all backgrounds are growing up without a strong connection to nature, and that can negatively impact action towards preservation and conservation,” Frontera officials added.

The El Paso Community Foundation was established in 1977 to foster philanthropy and provide a long term endowment to address the unique opportunities and challenges of the El Paso, southern New Mexico and Ciudad Juárez region.

Additionally, the foundation provides a wide-range of philanthropic services in the region as a grant maker, convener and leadership organization to the community. Since its founding, the Foundation has granted just under $190 million to the community.

Frontera is the only nationally-accredited 501(c)3 land trust in the El Paso area.

Frontera Land Alliance Officially “Texan by Nature” Partner

The “Texan by Nature” organization, founded by former First Lady Laura Bush, recently accepted The Frontera Land Alliance as a partner.

“Texan by Nature” was founded in 2011 by Laura Bush as a way to align the broad interests of conservation groups with business, healthcare, schools, the scientific community, and faith-based organizations.

According to the organization’s website, their core belief is that our state’s prosperity and quality of life are strongly linked to the conservation of its natural resources, so it is Texan by Nature’s mission to spur Texan-led conservation that produces tangible benefits for people, prosperity, and natural resources.

Texan by Nature accomplishes this by bringing the message of conservation to diverse audiences and by activating new investments in conservation that are Texan-led, community-organized, and science-based.

Frontera is the El Paso area’s only nationally-accredited 501(c)3 land trust. Frontera began in 2004, when community members realized there was an urgent need to preserve some of the important remaining natural and working lands in the El Paso and southern New Mexico regions.

Since Frontera’s inception, it has been active in the effort to preserve—in perpetuity—the 7,081-acre “Castner Range” property, a closed artillery range encompassing 25% of El Paso’s famed Franklin Mountains. (Thanks to the Castner campaign, the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act includes language that prohibits any building or other development on the Range.)

In addition, Frontera continues to publicize the campaign and the Range by sponsoring hikes for high-school freshmen on the 17-acre City of El Paso Archeology Museum property that’s surrounded by the Range (which as part of El Paso’s Fort Bliss Army post is still off-limits to non-authorized personnel). In late 2005, Frontera used a $1,868,500 donation to purchase—on El Paso’s West Side—a 91-acre property (the Wakeem/Teschner Nature Preserve of Resler Canyon) which is regularly used for guided hikes and stewardship.

For more information on Texan by Nature or to apply to the Conservation Wrangler program, click here.

Chihuahuan Desert Fiesta Celebrates Natural Wonders of the Franklin Mountains Saturday

The 13th Annual Chihuahuan Desert Fiesta at the Tom Mays section of Franklin Mountains State Park is planned for Saturday, September 30, from 9am to 3pm.

The free family event helps people connect with the great outdoors of the Franklin Mountains and is sponsored by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department with the help of volunteers from the Chihuahuan Desert Education Coalition. Organizes say the annual event attracts hundreds of people to the desert mountain park in Northwest El Paso.

The outdoor venue celebrates the natural wonders of the Chihuahuan Desert and Franklin Mountains State Park. Local environmental education groups will be on hand to offer free demonstrations, guided tours, guest speakers and informational booths designed to introduce the curious to the wonders of our fascinating desert.

Schedule of Events at the Entertainment Stage Area – End of the Loop Road next to the Exhibitor Tent Area

· 9:00am-9:15am- National Anthem
· 9:30am-10:00am- Cheerleading
· 10:00am-10:15am Zoo Animal Encounter
· 10:30am-11:00am- Story Telling(Marylyn Guida)
· 11:10am-11:35am- Martial Arts Demonstration
· 11:45am-12:15pm-Keyboarding/Piano
· 12:30pm-1:00pm- Rondalla Estudiantil
· 1:15pm-1:45pm- Ballet Folklorico (Champion Studio)
· 2:00pm-2:30pm- Belly Dancers

More on Geosciences Education Activities – Mini-field trips will run from 9am to 3pm, and will last only 30 minutes, with one exception. The short time means you will not be walking far. The geosciences do not only about understand the earth at your feet, but the vistas in the distance, and the sky above us.

Many of the following field trips may include a walk to a nearby place of higher elevation to get a better view. Hikers are encouraged to bring binoculars for the picturesque hike.

All mini-trips with the exception of trips 4 and 6 meet near the Restrooms at the End of the Loop Road to the right of the main stage and exhibit area.

Trip 1- 9:45 am to 10:45 am – Agave Loop for hikers interested in connecting to Mundy’s Gap.  See Park Map for Location.

Trip 2-10:30 am to 12:00 pm- Aztec Cave Trail is a 1.2 mile out and back trail that features a cave and is good for all skill levels.  See Park Map for Location.

Trip 3 – 11:00 am- 11:30pm- Short walk to elevation change.  Meet at the Trail head at the end of the loop road.

Trip 4 -11:00 am – 12:30pm –  Underground Copper Mine Tour, a maximum number of 15 participants with flashlights or headlamps. Meet at the Cottonwood Spring Parking Area. The hike is 1 mile round trip uphill over a rocky trail. Bring sturdy shoes, sunscreen, water, and a working flashlight. We will explore an underground tunnel which was part of an unsuccessful mineral entrepreneurial activity. Check out the blue grotto! See Park Map for Location.

Trip 5 -1:00 pm – 2:30pm –  Underground Copper Mine Tour, a maximum number of 15 participants with flashlights or headlamps. Meet at the Cottonwood Spring Parking Area. The hike is 1 mile round trip uphill over a rocky trail. Bring sturdy shoes, sunscreen, water, and a working flashlight. We will explore an underground tunnel which was part of an unsuccessful mineral entrepreneurial activity. Check out the blue grotto! See Park Map for Location.

Trip 6 -1:30 pm to 2:30 pm Upper Sunset Trail; is one of the shorter ones (1.3 miles) and offered some great views of the valley below.  Meet at the restrooms at the end of the loop road.

Trip 7- 2:00 pm to 2:30 pm Short Hike.  No elevation change. Meet at the Trail head at the end of the loop road.

Exhibitors attending the festival this year include New Mexico Farm, Ranch and Heritage Museum, Chamizal National Memorial, Hueco Tanks State Park, Aerial Tramway, Franklin Mountains State Park, Mexican Gray Wolf,  El Paso Parks and Recreation, Tech H2O, El Paso Zoo, International Boundary and Water Commission, Sierra Club, Women’s Voting, Franklin Mountains Wilderness Coalition, Greater Big Bend Coalition, Frontera Land Alliance, Texas Master Naturalist, UTEP, El Paso Fire Department, Sustainability and Resilience Office, Audubon Society, and Friends of the Rio Bosque.

Special thanks to our volunteers from the Chihuahuan Desert Education Coalition, Franklin Mountains State Park, City of El Paso Parks and Rec, El Paso Zoo, University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP).

For more information contact Franklin Mountains State Park at (915) 566-6441 or contact CDEC Committee Chair Carlos Rodriguez at 915-240-3311.

UTEP Math Professor Named to Land Board

Amy Wagler, Ph.D., associate professor of mathematical sciences, recently was named a member of the Board of Directors for the Frontera Land Alliance.

The nonprofit organization works to protect natural areas, working farms and ranches, water and wildlife. It began in 2005 when community members realized there was an urgent need to preserve some of the important remaining natural and working lands in the greater El Paso and southern New Mexico region.

“I am excited about working with Frontera Land Alliance to promote knowledge and appreciation of our natural environment,” Wagler said. “I am passionate about preservation of natural spaces, particularly in the border region.”

Though her professional expertise is not directly related to ecology and preservation, there is a connection to her research and teaching model.

She is a faculty fellow for UTEP’s Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) where she works to develop a faculty community of practice around community-engaged scholarship, service learning and community-based research.

In the classroom, the statistician has her Applied Regression Analysis students apply their statistics research projects and problem solving work to actual community issues. Wagler says utilizing applications learned inside the classroom helps students experience the impact of using statistics to address real-life situations.

The most recent project her class worked on involved research studies to understand how proximity to green or open space, like Castner Range (www.castner4ever.org), affects property value in El Paso.

Congressman O’Rourke introduces National Monument Act to protect Castner Range

In a Wedensday afternoon Facebook post, El Paso Congressman Beto O’Rourke announced that he filed a bill to protect a wide swath of land in the city’s Northeast area, once used as a target range by the U.S. Army.

O’Rourke said, “Castner Range is the crown jewel of West Texas. It deserves to be protected and preserved in its natural state. Today I introduced the Castner Range National Monument Act. This bill would protect Castner Range in perpetuity by making it a national monument.”

Photo: UTEP
Photo: UTEP

The range, some 7,000-plus acres is surrounded by the Franklin Mountains State Park. According to the Department of Defense’s website, in 1926 the government first purchased 3,500, followed by almost 5,000 acres more in 1939. Once the range was opened, the Army set up several firing ranges for mortars, artillery, rockets and grenades fired by rifles.

By the mid-70’s, the Army began selling portions of the range to the City of El Paso, while sweeping the thousands of acres for unexploded ordnance.  Signs still warn the public about the potential for some unexploded devices in the area, now within walking distance of homes and businesses.

In his Facebook statement, O’Rourke goes on to state that, “The bill is the result of a community effort led by the frontera land alliance, the Franklin Mountains Wilderness Coalition and other environmental community leaders who have been working to protect Castner Range since the 1970’s.”

On their respective websites, both the Frontera Land Alliance and the Franklin Mountains Wilderness Coalition (FMWC) laud the introduction of the bill.

A statement on FMWC states,  “Thank you Congressman Beto O’Rourke for introducing the Castner Range National Monument Act today! Everyone in our City and the country appreciates your help in protecting our natural world for future generations to enjoy.”

The video above was produced by the Frontera Land Alliance and local historian Jackson Polk in 2014.

Photo by fronteralandalliance.org
Photo by fronteralandalliance.org
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