Monday, February 16, 2015

We the People

Click on image to enlarge.

We the people want preserved, in its natural state and in perpetuity, all of the undeveloped land owned by the City of El Paso on the western side of the Franklin Mountains that is north of Transmountain Road, east of the EPNG Pipeline Road and south of the New Mexico/El Paso boundary and on the eastern side of the Franklin Mountains that is north of Transmountain, west of Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. and south of the New Mexico/El Paso boundary.

The Franklin Mountains Wilderness Coalition, the Sierra Club El Paso Group and elpasonaturally have launched a new "We the People" petition for everyone in El Paso to sign calling upon our leaders to work together in saving what remains of the lower elevations of the Franklin Mountains. You and your family and friends can help send a message to our City by printing out a petition today and collecting signatures between now and May 1.

Go HERE for the petition.

Completed petitions can be scanned and emailed to me (Jim Tolbert) at or snail mailed to me at 2701 Frankfort Ave., El Paso, TX 79930.

You can find the petition, a map of the lands covered and a fact sheet including instructions at

Be sure to read the Fact Sheet which gives 6 good reasons for preserving this land including lowering our onerous property taxes.

Want an impassioned plea to save our mountains? Read Joseph Pacheco's comment to my post about preserving Castner Range.

Here is his comment in full:

I truly hope this [preserving Castner Range] can be done, but I am doubtful. After all the western portion of the park is, in my humble opinion, lost as development will fully engulf the whole are within 5 years. It is truly sad that El Pasoans could show so little interest in protecting their mountains, placing shopping and access to McDonalds of higher importance. Once I finished my graduate degree in central TX I fully planned on returning home to El Paso, but each time I go home to visit the direction the city has taken and the urban sprawl that El Paso's leaders have progressed makes me sick to my stomach, making my return very doubtful. 

I constanlty avoided going thru loop 375, because I did not want to see what was done to my beloved desert, but when I finally did it was very sad and I almost wept at seeing what has happened to the entire area: new neighborhoods springing up only a mile or so from the park, a giant freeway closing the entrance to Franklin State Park, a new giant medical complex right on Transmountain Rd. I am all for a new hospital, but not on Transmountain Rd. More and more development will happen. Neighborhoods are almost at the base of the picnic/scenic area of South Franklin Mountain. In my opinion the entire mountain range is under siege and the park itself in a few short years will no longer be worth visiting, because who wants to see the roofs of homes or traffic as part of the outdoors experience. 

El Paso leaders or its residents just don't see the tragedy happening right before their eyes or they do and just don't care. A perfect example is the Tramway. A wonderful idea that is a tourist magnet. But, it being right next to a giant quarry ruins the entire experience and destroys the point that El Paso was trying to make by resurrecting the Tramway in the first place and that is El Paso is a unique city, wild and mountainous, respectful of nature and appreciative of our natural geology. But, again instead tourists who go to the tramway are shocked by the giant eyesore of a quarry which destroys the whole purpose of the tramway. Not only that, McKelligon Canyon is also a victim of this rock quarry. 

As if El Pasoans are not satisfied enough with destroying the Franklin Mountains they seem fully set on tearing down the Hueco Mountains as well. 

El Paso had the opportunity to be a unique city and setting an example. It could have been an opponent of urban sprawl and protected the cities natural beauty. It could have built smart, set a new pathway for cities of the 21st century. El Paso could have become a tourist city by promoting its natural beauty and becoming a green city. But the city chose the corrupt way, the way which required little vision and no wisdom. Only short term financial and political gain.

It does not surprise me of El Pasoans apathy regarding this topic. I would always speak to fellow El Pasoans about the mountains and tell them just how lucky we are to have such beauty in our city. I would tell them El Paso is the only city in the Untied States that has a mountain range right in the middle of it and I thought that has always been awesome! However, most of the time I would just get a glazed over look as if my fellow El Pasoans had no idea what I was talking about. They just did not care or think much about it.

While our fellow neighbor Las Cruces protects its mountains and has gone so far as to get the Organ Mountains designated as a National Monument. El Pasoans only care is to get from the Northeast to the West side 15 minutes faster so the can stop at the new McDonalds to eat and shop at the new Wal Mart, both of which are being built right next to the former great Franklin Mountains State Park. 

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