The Frontera Land Alliance (Frontera), an accredited-local non-profit land trust, has partnered, for several years, with a local 5 acre (non-certified) farm in the Socorro, TX called Growing with Sara Farm, L.L.C. The landowners, the farm manager along with Frontera have built a great partnership for educating volunteers on how to operate a farm and its value to the community.
The Castner Range Conservation Report is available! This 104-page study was prepared for the Castner Conservation Conveyance Committee (“4-C’s”) by SONRI Inc., of Boerne, TX and CALIBRE Systems, Inc. of Alexandria, VA with funding from a $300,000 grant obtained with the assistance of El Paso’s Congressman Silvestre Reyes and administered through the Department of Defense’s Office of Economic Adjustment.
Thunder Canyon is a 26-acre natural arroyo in the western slopes of the Franklin Mountains formerly owned by a private development company. For two years neighbors of the canyon worked with the City to create a PID and purchase the property from the developer. Essentially, the 88 households surrounding Thunder Canyon agreed to tax themselves to pay off the purchase price; the land now belongs to the citizens of El Paso for all of us to enjoy forever.
In the summer of 2012, Frontera applied for technical assistance from the National Park Service’s Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program to support our efforts to identify arroyos and other lands suitable for conservation around the Franklin Mountains. Frontera competed regionally with other organizations and communities in the grant process. The National Park Service (NPS) awarded Frontera a technical assistance grant in November 2012.
Outdoor recreation, education and conservation of open space are linked; they can truly improve the quality of life in our communities and the health of our residents which is one of the primary objectives identified in Frontera’s recently-developed Strategic Plan. We believe not only in the protection of our natural resources, but also in the importance of providing opportunities to learn about our natural settings with hands-on experiences. Success will be seen if we show a net gain in the number of individuals who attend Frontera activities and more people learn about their natural surroundings.
The Knapp Land’s preservation started with an area organization called Franklin Mountains Wilderness Coalition. They created a sub-committee Save Our Sierra’s whose sole focus was to see this land not developed. After the public objected to the sale of this private land for development the property was purchased by the City in early 2018 with Quality-of-Life “Open Space” voter-approved bond money plus supplements from the El Paso Water Stormwater Fund. The public still did not believe that was enough protection for the land.
The Lost Dog land adjoins the Franklin Mountains State Park (FMSP) to the east and residential areas to the south and west. Lost Dog is well known as a place to bike and hike on trails that are connected to the FMSP trails. This land was slated for development but as a result of an 89% voter approval of Proposition A on May 4th, 2019, the City agreed to preserve these lands. Proposition A stated that the City was to conserve the Lost Dog land with a conservation easement.