Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
With a planned Mountains to River Corridor running from the Franklin Mountains State Park to the Rio Grande River, why is it that the GLO allowed 480 acres in the middle of the proposed Corridor to be leased to Jobe for a new gravel and rock quarry in Northwest El Paso? Jobe has already posted no trespassing signs and begun grading dirt roads into the area and across the arroyos. Was there a public posting that I missed or was the land deal merely determined between the parties without the public's knowledge? It would seem to me that, where there are environmental concerns, the Public should have full knowledge of the GLO's plans before they're initiated.
Apparently, there was no attempt to make public this transaction between the GLO and Jobe . I would expect Jobe to remain silent as to their intentions. Jobe appears to have little, if any, concern for the environmental impact a planned quarry will have on this pristine area. It is, after all, a privately held company that is looking for the greatest financial return on their investment. Jobe is destroying the only chance for a Mountains to River Corridor that would link the Franklin Mountains Park to the
I am not against development. I am not against any company working to earn an honest dollar. I am against State Governnment Agencies working with private industry without regard for the People, the Environment, Open Space and for the Enjoyment of the Public for future generations. I want the GLO and companies like Jobe to look ahead to the consequences of their actions and work together to bring about responsible development.
I am trying to understand why the GLO allowed a 480 acre quarry to be situated in
such an environmentally delicate area so close to such a beautiful park. I am trying to understand how this could happen without any input from the general public. Isn't the General Land Office an agency of the Texas State Government, and as such, an agency of the People of Texas? Shouldn't the GLO have posted a Public Notice and asked for feedback from the People before allowing this travesty to occur?
By allowing Jobe to lease the land without public notice and feedback, the GLO must be held responsible for the destruction of an area that is a natural extension of the Franklin Mountains State Park and what could have been a beautiful trails system from the Mountains to the River.
As I write this, Jobe is bulldozing roads through the land and through the arroyos. Already, the destruction can be seen from the roads.
It is not too late to protest. It is not too late to bring to the attention of
the People just what is happening to their chances of a better life for themselves and their children, and their children's children.
Call you State Representatives. Call the Newspapers and the Television News. Make you views known. Do not let this irresponsible transaction by the State of Texas destroy your chances for a better life for you and for generations to come.
We can still stop the destruction. It's not too late.
What also should be is this: It is time for all of us to think long and hard about how we use natural materials and how much we use as individuals, home and business owners and as a City. Our mountains and deserts are limited. They are not sustainable. Once mined, that portion is gone forever. Just drive down any City of El Paso thoroughfare or see any "zero-scaped" commercial or residential property and note the overuse of large rocks and gravel in the landscaping. It doesn't have to be that way. But as long as it is, and as long as we want to build more than we need for ourselves and for the services we require, we will be gluttons of our environment.
I have two friends who are now selling their house. It is 2639 square feet. It has 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. The kitchen is huge. The living room has a cathedral ceiling. There's a pool. It is just for the two of them.
We want big box houses, rocked landscapes, roads going every which way. When a study shows that walkability will increase the value of our properties, then El Paso builders say such things are not feasible for El Paso because we don't have a thriving downtown or reliable mass transit. Huh? Neither has anything to do with building walkable communities. The fact is this: builders and developers in El Paso want all the land that they can get their hands on. The City has for too long accommodated them and taxpayers have paid for infrastructure including roads. Roads need materials from Jobe.
I too want responsible development: responsible and sustainable development.
We can still stop the destruction. It is not too late.
It is also not to late for each of us to ask how we contribute to that destruction.
Chihuahuan Desert Education Coalition to sponsor Chihuahuan Desert
Conference, November 12-14, 2010“A Desert without Borders”
The Chihuahuan Desert Education Coalition (CDEC) is making plans to sponsor the First Annual Chihuahuan Desert Conference on November 12-14, 2010 at the Tech H2O Water Resource Center in E Paso.
The mission of the conference is to promote education about the Chihuahuan Desert and to encourage educators and researchers working in the Chihuahuan Desert to network and share knowledge. The Chihuahuan Desert Educational Coalition is a bridge-building organization that encourages people to come together on behalf of conservation and education of the Chihuahuan Desert.
Kelly Serio, a Park Ranger at Franklin Mountains State Park and a member of the planning committee said that "the goals of the conference include creating opportunities to learn about the Chihuahuan Desert, providing opportunities for people who are doing conservation work or research to network and providing a space and time for researchers to present their findings."
To learn about how to sign up to present a paper or poster at the conference a Chihuahuan Desert Conference Proposal Submission Form is available online at www.chihuahuandesert.org.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
"There was an appropriations request made by Congressman Reyes for
. It was made to the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee for $300,000 under the Frontera Land Alliance to maintain Castner Range . The project would focus on preserving open space. The House report does include a full request for the project - $300,000. There is no funding included in the Senate version of the bill. The conference report is not available yet but it is my understanding through conversations with Congressman Reyes’ office that there is a high probability of it being included in the final bill. Castner Range
"Also, there was language included in the House Committee Report for the Defense Authorization bill. The language reads as follows:'The committee understands that the Department of Defense ceased operations at the Castner Range Complex at
, in 1971. In testimony, the Army indicated that , Fort Bliss Texas is ‘‘wholly impractical to use for any range activity.' Castner Range
"The committee is interested in maintaining this land for a conservation purpose. The committee encourages the Department to enter into a lease in furtherance of conveyance with eligible conservation entities."
Wed Oct. 14, 6:30 - 9:00 p.m. Restoration Advisory Board (RAB). 9600 Dyer, Northeast Regional Command Police Department.
Draft Agenda includes:
- Wide Area Assessment (WAA) of
- Site Inspection (SI) of Former Maneuver Area 1 and 2 Between Loop 375 and
Thurs Oct. 15, 1-5 p.m. Military Munitions Response Program (MMRP) Site Inspection Technical Project Planning Meeting. Embassy Suites, 6100 Gateway East.
The second Technical Project Planning (TPP) meeting for the MMRP of the Former Maneuver Area at
. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss any outstanding issues related to the Historical Records Review report and to discuss the approach that will be used to conduct the field work phase of the Site Inspection. Please contact Mary Franquemont (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Gene Barber (email@example.com) to RSVP for the meeting or if you need additional information. TLI Solutions, Inc., (303) 763-7188 (main), (303) 716-3724 (direct), http://www.tlisolutions.com/Index_TLIS08.html (Agenda attached) Fort Bliss
Fri Oct. 16. 1-5 p.m. Wide Area Assessment (WAA) of
. Radisson Hotel. Castner Range 1770 Airway Blvd.
The U.S. Army will conduct a demonstration of “wide area assessment” (WAA) technologies to characterize the presence of munitions on
Castner Range, . WAA technologies rapidly collect large amounts of data about relative densities and distribution of munitions. The WAA field demonstration project will involve deploying multiple airborne and ground-based systems for detecting munitions and munitions related surface features. The Army invites you to participate in a series of Technical Project Planning meetings (TPP) for stakeholders and interested parties to discuss the project. (Enclosures with maps attached) Fort Bliss, Texas
"I believe that we need to ensure a conservation conveyance before the cleaning. Otherwise, clean land is subject to development. Perhaps we can get the Army to commit (in writing) to convey all cleaned land (some is already clean) to the Franklin Mountains State Park."
This Saturday is the Great American Clean-up sponsored by the City of El Paso and Keep El Paso Beautiful. One good way to observe the day is to come out and help clean-up the Wakeem Teschner Nature Preserve in Resler Canyon beginning at 7 a.m. on Saturday the 17th.
Please join The Frontera Land Alliance and the Loretto Green Team this Saturday, October 17 from 7am to 11am for a clean up of the Wakeem Teschner Nature Preserve in Resler Canyon. This event is being coordinated as an El Paso Pride Day event in collaboration with Keep El Paso Beautiful.
As usual, we will set up in the Currey Adkins Parking lot at the end of Alto Mesa. Click here for a map.
We will bring tools, bags, water and a little bit of shade. Please bring your own gloves, hat, and sunscreen (or maybe a jacket).
If you have questions, you can call Scott Cutler at 747-6668 or 581-6071 through
Thursday evening. After that, please call Mike Gaglio at 490-8601.
Please feel free to pass on this information to friends.
See you there!
Friday, October 9, 2009
Stanley Pruet Jobe has destroyed the Lower Sunset Trail and with it the cherished mountain to river corridor. With bulldozed trails he has marked his territory much like many male mammal beasts mark theirs with their odorous urine. His No Trespassing signs are aligned like a barbed wire fence over and around the hills above Arroyo 42 and dip down into what was once scenic walkways of sedimentary rock and animal habitat.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
The Parks and Recreation Department of the City of El Paso moved quickly recently to protect mature trees at a City construction site. Parks Superintendent Sam Calhoun made sure that stands of mature Afghan pines and mixed deciduous trees were fenced off at the construction of a new Cielo Vista Library at Vista del Valle Park on Hawkins Blvd.
"I want to give major big KUDOS to the El Paso Parks Department. I have been here 18 years and this is a first. Other than what Sun Metro did back in 1998 to protect the State Champion Aleppo Pine tree downtown, I have never seen fencing around mature trees on a construction site. This simple easy step is doing great things to protect the root zones of these trees.This is in my opinion a major milestone. It looks to me that El Paso is making great strides in public tree care."