Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
"The Open Space Board should become involved in future development by approaching developers before they begin development plans. If the Board could show developers that they could make the same profits or greater by introducing green and sustainable development, then it would be an advantage to all parties."
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
September 19, at
Drive to the end of the main road into the park. Enjoy educational presentations. There will be information provided by a number of nature, conservation, hiking and environmental groups. Good, clean used hiking and camping gear and books will be on sale to benefit the Franklin Mountains State Park.
11am Rose Janice – All about the State Reptile of
Noon Virginia Morris – Plants of the
1pm Rick LoBello – Wildlife of the
2pm Cesar Mendez –
Chili Appreciation Society International has sanctioned a chili cookoff by the State Park. The judged competition will include a public tasting and a “showmanship” category.
The Climbers of Hueco Tanks Coalition will be giving free tutorials on climbing basics. Join Park Ranger, Kelly Serio for an interpretive presentation on birds. There will be an outdoor equipment and basic skills presentation given by Park Rangers. There will also be free demonstrations of mountain biking. Take a 20-minute instructional ride!
"I went to Resler Canyon this evening and looked over the status of the drainage coming into the upper portion of the canyon. This is a summary of my observations and recommendations.
The upper portion of the canyon is in a highly unnatural state. Storm runoff from developed portions of El Paso comes in at two major areas on the southeast and at least one location in the northwest. These areas are marked by enhanced, ugly, erosion of the arroyo sides. The enhanced erosion extends ¼ to ½ mile down the canyon until equilibrium is established. The damage is not limited to the edges of the property but rather is visible deep inside.
Development in the absence of proper engineering standards that are rigorously enforced causes an increase in peak and total storm discharge. Peak discharge rather than the total volume of water is usually what causes most erosional damage. The storm runoff coming into the canyon also has a low content of suspended sediments. In a natural system there is a dynamic balance between sediment load and erosion. Water with low sediment content is “hungry” and tends to pick up sediments (causes erosion) until a new equilibrium is established. An additional problem is that the slopes in the upper portion of the canyon are steeper than natural slopes because the tops of the arroyo were scraped and pushed off.
The multiple problems (unnaturally steep slopes, unnatural peak discharge, and unnaturally low sediment content) mean that a wholly natural solution will not work. A natural solution will mean essentially sacrificing the upper ¼ or ½ mile of the canyon. Left alone the arroyo will continue to erode at the edges and far into the interior of the property.
An engineering solution of some type will have to be applied at several locations. Given the high peak discharge and low sediment content the water must be slowed while coming into the canyon, the peak discharge will have to be lowered, and sediment will need to be trapped.
Ideally detention ponds would be built on the property of the upstream developments that have caused the problem. Unfortunately this is not feasible.
A realistic solution is:
- At (at least) the two major water inputs: Ugly engineered structures with energy dissipation above and small, decent looking, detention ponds below. They would have to be better built than the previous attempts.
- A series of rip rap erosion control structures (leaky check dams) extending ¼ mile or more down the channel to trap sediments and reduce peak discharge to a more natural level."
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
I want to invite you to take a virtual tour through the Franklin Mountains Flora website we have created. The website details over a hundred of the most common plant species in the
Franklin Mountainsand offers a Google Earth tour of the different trails the have to offer. Franklins
We ask that you link www.franklinmountainsflora.com to your website.
Very truly yours,
Bookmark the site and keep going back!
Monday, September 14, 2009
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
"The summit brings together government agencies, local companies, high school students, environmental experts, and El Paso residents to discuss the different environmental issues in the community, find possible solutions, and implement the solutions. There will be continental breakfast and sit down lunch at no charge. Topic: "A New Day in the Sun" to include renewable energy, solar, city of El Paso sustainability, tires and rubber pavement, and illegal dumping."
Friday, September 4, 2009
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Mike Gaglio set the tone from the beginning of Frontera Land Alliance meeting with the El Paso Water Utilities. As board President of Frontera, he stressed partnership, opportunity and creativity with the EPWU. Gonzalo Cedillos, the Stormwater Division Manager, chimed in. After an early meeting which included seven Frontera board members or advisors and EPWU's Mr. Cedillos and Mr. Jose Luis Sierra and a follow-up meeting at Resler Canyon, it was plain to see that EPWU fully intended to do more than just mere remediation.