City of El Paso approves Knapp Land and Lost Dog Conservation Easements with The Frontera Land Alliance on May 11, 2021!
These conservation-easement agreements protect two large properties adjoining the Franklin Mountains State Park (FMSP): the more than a thousand-acre “Lost Dog” on the Northwest side and the 353-acre “Knapp Land” in the Northeast.
Conservation easements are crafted with willing landowners to permanently limit or prevent certain uses on the land while allowing other uses to take place. By applying a conservation easement to these properties, Frontera ensures the terms of the agreements are followed and the conservation values are protected.
Knapp Land and Lost Dog are arid lands that typically have sparse vegetation and are associated with intense rainstorms that generate substantive rainfall impacts and locally high rates of overland flow runoff. These lands are now ensured to remain open natural areas in perpetuity that when the flooding comes the lands will have the ability to absorb the waters.
The Knapp Land is located in the Trans-Pecos region of West Texas in the northern portion of the Chihuahuan Desert. The 353 acres are fully a part of the Franklin Mountains, a tilted fault-block mountain range composed of mainly sedimentary rock with some igneous intrusions.
The flora and fauna on the Knapp Land you can find sotol, prickly pear, and lechuguilla to tarantula, millipedes, rock squirrels to mule deer. There are many birds sighted on the Knapp Land. These include Gambel’s Quail, Scaled Quail, to the Greater Roadrunner.
These lands are key to ensuring that land alongside the FMSP remains open to allow for natural runoff during periods of heavy or “monsoon” rainfall, which in El Paso typically occurs from July through September. Having these natural open space allows greater time and space for rainwater to be absorbed and spread out, reducing the chance of flooding downstream.