FRANKLIN MOUNTAINS NOTES
Newsletter of the Franklin Mountains Wilderness Coalition
January, 2006 [Actually November 2005 - jPA]
Next Meeting: Nov. 16, 2005
The next meeting of the Franklin Mountains Wilderness Coalition is Wednesday, Nov. 16 at 7 p.m. It takes place in Room 411, Burgess Hall on the UTEP campus. Burgess Hall is at the intersection of Sun Bowl Drive and University Ave. on the west side of the campus. Please be prompt. The building entrance locks automatically in the evenings. If you arrive late and no one is at the door, call 861-4361 and someone will come to let you in. For more information contact Scott Cutler (581-6071).
PARK FUNDING UPDATE
By John Sproul
As you know, if you’ve been following the funding travails of El Paso’s proposed 4-year medical school, the State’s Legislative Budget Board has not met during these past 2 months to consider possible adjustments to the state budget. The Sept. 14 meeting was first postponed a week, then postponed indefinitely due to uncertainty over the impact of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita on the budget. Thus, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s supplemental budget request for $2 million/year for each of the next 2 years has seen no action…and the impoverished state park system has seen no relief.
Coalition Officers ---- 2005
Secretary: Nora Butler 915-755-0671
Treasurer: Scott Cutler 915-581-6071
Newsletter: Kathy McConaghie 915-227-5330
FRANKLIN MOUNTAINS STATE PARK UPDATE
By Danny Contreras, PRII, ADSO
We, at the Franklin Mountains State Park, hope you all have been enjoying the weather, definitely unseasonably warm for this time of year. Because of this unusual weather, snakes, quail, and other desert animals are still being spotted. Even some of the desert flowers are still in bloom. On Monday, October 31st at approximately 4:50 p.m. Lead Ranger Robert Pichardo spotted a bobcat about a quarter mile from the park entrance.
Please join us in welcoming Mr. Mitch Pickens as our new and first Park Host here at the Franklin Mountains State Park. Mr. Pickens is retired and was an avid runner. He has hiked in the Franklins for many years. He was interested in being a Host at the our park and maybe rotating out to other state parks in the Hill Country. He will also help us with trail maintenance and tours. We are excited to have Mitch at the park.
As you all know, October was the kickoff for the Celebration of the Mountains. It kicked off without any hitches and the response from the public was great. Maria Trunk played an integral part in helping to coordinate the events throughout October. We would like to thank her for her tireless efforts and involvement during the Celebration of the Mountains.
Work continues on the Eastside Multiuse Trails due to the continuous efforts put in by Major Joe Cancellary and the Bowie High School R.O.T.C. The trails are nearing completion but access to them is an issue that has yet to be resolved. Work also continues on the road damaged by heavy rains. This work is being coordinated by our Regional Headquarters at Fort Davis and is still in the beginning stages.
We have also begun replacing signage and repairing some of the Mountain Bike Trails along with the help of Park Volunteer Robert Newman and some of the Yucca Council Eagle Scouts.
On the 29th of October, Major Joe Cancellary, while working on the Multiuse Trails, spotted two gentlemen with rifles. He was able to confront them and inform them that they were on State Park property. He was also able to get a vehicle description and a license plate number. This information was passed along to our Complex Office.
Park Manager Rodney Wells is in Fort Davis on Park business, along with other Texas State Park personnel. Together, they are trying to develop a protocol for mountain lion sightings.
I would like to express my regrets for not attending the recent meetings. I am currently attending evening classes and, as soon as I am able, will resume attending Franklin Mountains Wilderness Coalition meetings. Your patience is appreciated.
LONE STAR LEGACY
You can make a lasting contribution to the future of Franklin Mountains State Park with your tax-deductible donation to the Lone Star Legacy Endowment Fund. Checks, payable to “Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation” can be sent to: Lone Star Legacy Endowment Fund, c/o Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, P.O. Box 191207, Dallas, TX, 75219. Mark your donation to the endowment fund for Franklin Mountains State Park.
NEWSLETTER CONTRIBUTIONS NEEDED
We are soliciting more contributions from our members for our F.M.W.C. newsletter, specifically short essays about special memories of experiences in our beautiful Franklin Mountains. We also welcome your current questions or concerns about mountain issues and will try to address them in upcoming newsletters.
Please feel free to submit your contributions to Kathy McConaghie via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or postal mail to 272 Shadow Mountain Dr., #12, El Paso, Texas 79912. The deadline for the January, 2006 newsletter will be January 11, 2006, but submissions will be accepted any time between now and the deadline.
So sit down and pen a special memory or experience for publication - a wonderful opportunity to honor the mountains we all love and to share your unique perspective with everyone.
The Franklin Mountains Wilderness Coalition
Borderland Mountain Bike Association - - Celebration of Our Mountains - - Chihuahuan Desert Wildlife Rescue - - El Paso Archeological Society - - El Paso Cactus and Rock Club - - El Paso Native Plant Society - - El Paso Regional Group of the Sierra Club - - El Paso/Trans-Pecos Audubon Society - - El Paso Wilderness Preservation Committee - - El Paso Women’s Political Caucus - - Friends of the Franklins - - League of Women Voters of El Paso - - Mesilla Valley Audubon Society - - Mountain Park Community Association - - Photography Enthusiasts of El Paso - - Southern New Mexico Group of the Sierra Club
VISIT OUR WEBSITE AT http://iloveparks.com/fmwc/