Frontera Land Alliance

Frontera September 2020 Update


Stay informed about Frontera’s latest projects.

Photo by Richard Love.

The Frontera Land Alliance
SEPTEMBER 2020 UPDATE

Words from Executive Director

Welcome to fall and the cooler temperatures! This month has marked the start-up of many schools and universities in our part of the world and around the nation, some remotely and some in person. Throughout Covid we all have learned a lot about washing hands, not touching our faces, wearing masks, and staying six feet apart. An overarching impact of Covid is that once again open spaces are in great demand!  We are seeing the affect that this has on national processing plants and distribution centers for food, and this shows the importance of having local farms and ranches to assist in providing healthy things for us and our fellow creatures to eat. We’ve stated over and over again that we need places for recreation and to experience the great outdoors, for improving our mental and physical health and for reminding us of where we ultimately come from. We are proud and fortunate to live in a community that’s home to the largest urban state park in the contiguous United States, and that El Paso and its surrounding municipalities have long set aside a wide variety of public lands for all to explore, especially now in these trying times of endless closures.

However! Due to the increased use of open natural areas, we are seeing increased destruction of the land. We see more illegal dumping and many more people leaving trash on the trails. Equally unfortunate is that nowadays we see more and more people creating their own trails for biking, running and hiking. People need to think about the negative impact they’re having on the plants and the fields, on the land and the soil, and how the “trails” that they create can only increase erosion. If everyone behaved that way, then all we’d have left would be bare dusty ground, next to no plants, no food or nesting places for our wingèd and four-footed friends, and monsoon rain that would run off the ground.

But onward, now, to a more positive note. Frontera is working long and hard with the City of El Paso to place conservation easements on the Knapp Land and Lost Dog, two well-known circum-Franklin Mountains properties. All Frontera supporters know that “easements” preserve land in perpetuity, entirely or largely in their current condition as open natural space. As we’ve mentioned in the past, easement negotiations are private transactions with landowners—in both cases the City of El Paso—so we cannot share further information at this time. But we’ll be sure to let you know when the time has come to celebrate the preservation of these two open spaces for the community! 

Photo by Richard Love.

Staffing Update

We would like to introduce you to our newest team member, Aaron Barbara. Aaron is a native of El Paso and Las Cruces (by way of New Mexico State University). While attending NMSU he double-majored in cello performance and communications studies; he also co-founded a social media marketing business that played an integral part in the campaign to designate the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks as a national monument. He has served on the board of directors of several nonprofit organizations, including the Las Cruces Green Chamber of Commerce. He has also held various developmental positions with local non-profit organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters Mountain Region and The New Mexico State University Foundation. Aaron has been active in local community organizations since high school and brings years of experience in annual giving, digital communications, marketing, donor relations, and community outreach. In addition to joining the staff of Frontera, Aaron is also a licensed mortgage loan officer in Texas and New Mexico with Certainty Home Loans, helping local families achieve the dream of home ownership. 

Education and Outreach Program Update and More

Frontera is starting to activate our Education and Outreach Program, slowly and cautiously in these perilous “viral” times. This month we took the Frontera board on a tour of the Knapp Land. We also participated in the Virtual Chihuahuan Desert Fiesta with an on-line tour of the El Paso Museum of Archaeology. And Maryflor led a talk about Soil Erosion to celebrate National Public Lands Day. Finally, El Paso’s famous Celebration of Our Mountains kicked off yet another season. Be sure to follow Frontera Facebook page for up to date events, volunteer days as well as seeing our videos on area plants and animals! 

The 9th annual Texas Land Trust Council’s director’s meeting was held remotely this year. We discussed state and federal advocacy issues, updates from Land Trust Alliance and a presentation on the latest news regarding the national land-trust public outreach campaign. In addition, the Texas Land Trust Council’s priorities for the coming year were presented to everyone’s satisfaction. 

Finally, Friday, Sep 11th, WestStar Bank team members took part in “Jeans Day” for The Frontera Land Alliance. This is where the staffs of WestStar Bank wears jeans and make a denotation to a local cause. Donations from team members are matched from WestStar Bank contributions. Together, they raised $1,600 that will support the conservation of water, wildlife and lands in our region!  

Photo by Richard Love.

If you shop with Amazon, don’t forget to use AmazonSmile so that each time you shop you can help Frontera conserve water, wildlife and working lands as well as natural open areas. It is a very simple program to participate in, and it will not cost you a dime. Amazon will donate part of their profit on that purchase to Frontera. 



A donation to The Frontera Land Alliance will help
preserve natural spaces for future generations

 

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