El Paso, Texas— Supporters of Castner Range National Monument made the celebratory announcement that more than 25,000 individuals, from our region, have written letters supporting the president to designate our Castner Range as the nation’s next Bureau or Land Managements national monument. This designation would add this Texas treasure to America’s collection of protected lands and waterways to stand alongside our national parks as guardians of America’s heritage as one of the newest members of the National Conservation Lands system. This milestone celebrates the importance of land conservation for Texas and its future.
“The actions we take today have long-lasting consequences for our state and our future,” says Janaé Reneaud Field, Executive Director of The Frontera Land Alliance. “Living in El Paso wouldn’t be the same without our city’s back drop (Castner Range) to hike and explore in and for the clean, safe water to fuel our everyday adventures. As our region continues to grow, this designation would have profound positive impacts for the future of Texas, our local economy and our future generations.”
Conserving Castner Range will protect significant cultural and historic artifacts; protect sensitive springs, keeping polluted runoff out of drinking water; prevent more land from being covered in concrete; and preserve the habitat that is home to an iconic Texas wildlife.
The Frontera Land Alliance, the Franklin Mountains Wilderness Coalition and the El Paso Community Foundation are leading the effort locally and are being supported at the state level by the Texas Land Trust Council, the Texas Land Conservancy and the Texas League of Conservation Voters.
“The work of conserving the Castner Range should be important to all Texans. So we need people from around the state to sign letters in support of the creation of National Monument status to preserve this distinctive natural resource.” Elizabeth Doyel, Executive Director Texas League of Conservation Voters.
And the drive for a Castner Range National Monument is supported at the national level by the Next 100 Coalition, the Conservation Lands Foundation, The Wilderness Society, the League of Conservation Voters, American Hiking Society, Hispanic Access Fund and Latino Outdoors, among others. In addition, all cognizant electoral bodies—the El Paso City Council, the El Paso County Commissioners’ Court, the Public Service Board of El Paso Water Utilities, the Neighborhood Coalition and its Council and the entire state-level Texas delegation (five Representatives, one Senator)—unanimously support Castner Range National Monument.
Angel Peña (Conservation Lands Foundation and El Paso Native) believes that the preservation of Castner Range as a national monument helps create a sense of community between our southwestern region building a collected vision for what the next 100 years of our public lands should look like “The lands that we protect make up the special fabric of the place we call home. We are strong Texans, traditional New Mexicans and proud Mexicans working together to conserve the lands we grew up with and the water we depend on,” Peña said. Protected public lands protects and preserves America’s sacred sites and our rich culture. The National Conservation Lands represent a complete tour of history of the American West and Castner Range is worthy of such honor.
Business owners, community leaders, teachers, students, elected officials, mayors from two different countries, neighbors and friends stand untied in support of the designation of Castner Range National Monument. The local community has surpassed the 25,000- letter milestone with the drive of our committed El Paso families and friends. Film festivals, ball games, faith-based meetings, conservation gatherings, Zoo events, neighborhood association get-togethers, archaeology youth engagement and education , veterans’ events and hikes have made up the almost endless line up of events that have been held to educate and rally support for the proper protection of our precious landscape. Since early 2016, El Paso, Ysleta, and Canutillo school districts have supported the National Monument Initiative in creative and artistic educational ways, teaching our youth about the importance of protecting big wide open spaces while engaging them in their cities local political landscape. Also, given that Castner Range is home to one of the largest bilingual areas in the U.S., local supporters have established Spanish- and English-language websites, brochures, Facebook, Twitter pages and have produced several videos to better showcase the community’s dedication to our future Castner Range National Monument.
To learn more and to show your support please visit Castner4ever.org. Support the local community by signing the petition to support efforts to designate Castner Range National Monument.