Thursday, August 20, 2015

Rio Bosque Wetlands Threatened - Again

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Our Rio Bosque Wetlands Park is threatened once again. This in spite of new sources of water for almost the entire year. If done in its preferred route by TxDOT, the planned Border East Highway means bad news for the Bosque.

The El Paso Times reported recently: Officials: Border Highway East project to cost $711.6M. Item 7 on tomorrow's 9AM Transportation Policy Board for the El Paso Metropolitan Planning Organization (EPMPO) reads: "Discussion and action to allow the Transportation Policy Board Chairperson to execute a Resolution in support of the Border Highway East (BHE) Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) Study." Do see the full proposal and presentation HERE.

TxDOT's preferred route for the Border East Highway would go from the Zaragoza International Port of Entry to the future Tornillo-Guadalupe International Port of Entry following the Rio Grande. There would also be an extension from Tornillo to Interstate 10. 

The Rio Bosque hugs the Rio Grande on its western border. The Riverside Canal sets the eastern boundary of the park. The El Paso County Water Improvement District plans to cement the Riverside Canal. That by itself will negatively impact the wildlife at the Rio Bosque. A border highway hugging the concreted canal will certainly be harmful to the wildlife of the park according to John Sproul the park's manager.

In addition to threatening the Rio Bosque, the planned border highway will upset the primarily rural towns from Socorro through Clint and San Elizario to Tornillo. San Elizario and Clint already face having a dangerous pipeline running near homes and schools. For more, go HERE and HERE.

Now is a very good time to become a Friend of the Rio Bosque. Also visit and like The Friends of the Rio Bosque Facebook page.

The EPMPO meets tomorrow at 9AM at 211 N. Florence, Suite 103. MAP

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