The beautiful Wakeem/Teschner Nature Preserve (Resler Canyon)
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.
It was also clear that some surveying to determine utility easement would be required. The question of easement was raised by Mr. Sierra and all agreed that he was on the right track.
Water Utilities officials volunteered to do some temporary sandbagging at points of water spill from storm runoff as a temporary first step. They also agreed to pay for the surveying to determine utility easement. They will work with Frontera to stabilize the slopes in question in an environmentally sensitive fashion. The restoration and stabilization of the slope will be done in consultation with Frontera and consultants it recommends and it will be done by a contractor approved by Frontera.
In short, EPWU showed once again that they are a solution-oriented organization that is willing to work with the public.
Some personal observations: Every time that I have had any involvement with the EPWU/PSB, they have exceeded my expectations. They have shown repeatedly that they want to be good stewards of our environment. One of the difficulties that Mr. Sierra ran into was lack of information from the City of El Paso. That didn't surprise me. One board member suggested that the City has not handled matters properly for many years and, therefore, a relationship with EPWU is welcomed as a means to do things in an environmentally responsible manner. Whereas City engineers and others too often take the stance of "our way or the highway", EPWU and its engineers (including Mr. Cedillos) always are open to new ideas, better solutions and environmental care.