I wrote: "I asked Dr. Cesar Mendez, the Superintendent of the Franklin Mountains State Park, about the boundaries between the park and CEMEX and whether there had been any encroachment that he was aware of. He replied that he is concerned about 'any potential encroachment, as well as the changes in the landscape. But there is not much we can do if they are working legally and within their boundaries.' He added that 'for now we are neighbors and respect each other.' He and his team keep their focus on protecting the land within the State Park as well as potential land that they might annex."
Dr. Mendez advised me to contact the open records division of Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD). I sent this request:
"Please provide me with any information describing the boundary between the Franklin Mountain State Park and the Cemex Quarry near McKelligon Canyon in El Paso, Texas. Digital files are preferred."
The response from TPWD Attorney, Laura Russell:
"According to our staff, the best available data currently is the El Paso City / County parcel data maintained by the Paso Del Norte Mapa, a coalition of local agencies.
This parcel data is the foundation of the data TPWD presently uses in our GIS to depict the boundary of Franklin Mountains SP. Franklin Mountains SP does not have a boundary survey. It is described in the 1987 deed by Sections included in the park."
I also asked about a boundary survey for Wyler Aerial Tramway State Park. Ms. Russell again responded:
"Mr. Tolbert, Wyler Aerial Tramway is totally contained within the boundaries of Franklin Mountains SP. It does not share a common boundary with the CEMEX quarry. Have a good day."
So on Tuesday of last week I emailed Ms. Russell and asked: "How does TPWD know that Cemex has not encroached on its boundaries already?"
No response from her to date.
It appears that the TPWD has no idea whether Cemex has already encroached on their boundaries. At its last Executive Committee meeting the El Paso Group of the Sierra Club voted to begin a petition calling for such a survey.