March 21, 2012
NEW Meeting Place and Time
MEETING LOCATION: Our meeting will be held at 6:30 PM at Scott Cutler’s home: 112 Colina Alta Drive, El Paso, TX 79912, Phone: 581-6071. We will welcome Jim Tolbert of El Paso Naturally as our guest speaker. He’ll be presenting us with an update on NW Scenic Corridor issues. Hope to see you there!
NEW MEMBER ORGANIZATION LOOKOUT
Non-profit organizations that share our goals to preserve and protect the Franklin Mountains may join for FREE. If you know of a non-profit that would like to join FMWC, please have them contact judy Ackerman, 915-755-7371, or j.p.ackerman@sbcglobal.
TRANSMOUNTAIN ROAD CLEANUP
Our first 2012 cleanup of Trans Mountain Road on March 3 was a success and a failure. The 16 hardworking volunteers who participated picked up 30 bags of trash in two hours. Thanks to them for their hard work. We failed to clean the dirtiest section of our adopted segment, the last half mile from Ressler on both sides of the roadway, because we did not have enough volunteers.
The next cleanup is on May 12, 2012 at 0800-1000. We will only work those two hours since most of us have busy schedules. I will be contacting FMWC Member Organizations to commit for one of the remaining cleanups on May 12, Aug 18, or Oct 27. Please contact your organization’s members to participate so that the remaining cleanups are more successful. As we all know the more volunteers we have the easier the effort to complete the project.
Thanks to Ed (no e-mail) Dominguez (915-494-5297) for coordinating these efforts! Please call him to sign up as a volunteer for this crucial Adopt a Highway effort!
TRANSMOUNTAIN SCENIC CORRIDOR
Editorial Comment: FMWC contributed to this effort by the Sierra Club. The Coalition supports the expansion of Transmountain Road to two lanes in each direction for safety reasons but, as stated below, NO overpasses should be built east of Gasline Road.
SIERRA CLUB APPEAL
Funds are urgently needed, any amount is appreciated.
On February 6, 2012 The Sierra Club filed a lawsuit in the Western District of Texas, Austin Division, against the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). The suit alleges failure of FHWA and TxDOT to provide an adequate assessment of the collateral damage to environmental values that will be caused by the Transmountain Road Freeway Project. The Sierra Club contends TxDOT and local real estate interests feared looming state budget shortfalls would freeze the Project unless it was rushed quickly to contract. This so rushed the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analyses of the Project as to lead to prejudgment of the outcome of the environmental analyses.
The widening of Transmountain Road to a “Freeway” status threatens to degrade the high-desert solitude of the Franklin Mountains. The El Paso Sierra Club strongly believes that those who value the rugged beauty of the Franklin Mountains State Park must continue efforts to protect it from the impacts of the proposed freeway and the development it will enable. The City’s concessions to real estate development interests and the insensitivity of TxDOT officials to the qualities of high-desert mountains risk stripping all El Pasoans of a valuable part of our natural heritage.
In the lawsuit, the Sierra Club asks the Court to declare the FHWA approval of the Finding Of No Significant Impact (FONSI) and its failure to require a Section 4(f), i.e., parkland protection, evaluation to have been arbitrary, capricious and not in accordance with the law. The Court is also asked to set aside the FONSI and enjoin FHWA and TxDOT from further development, except for the completion of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), Section 4(f) study and revised project design work. The revised design work should include no construction of bridges/interchanges or access/gateway roads beyond what is commonly called “gas line road.” Any construction beyond “gas line road” should be “at grade level” and no accommodations should be made to allow for Plexxar Road or Paseo Del Norte Road to intersect with Transmountain Road as was planned by TxDOT.
Additional funding in the amount of $65,000 will be necessary for the continued funding of the lawsuit. Donations are direly needed immediately and should be mailed to:
Sierra Club – El Paso Regional Group
P.O. Box 9191
El Paso, Texas 79995
UPCOMING CITY COUNCIL MEETING
TUESDAY, MARCH 20TH
This coming Tuesday, City Council will begin the process for the new NW Master Plan. They will have four scenarios to choose from:
• Build north and south of Transmountain (2 options)
• Build only south of Transmountain in limited areas
• No Build
A special meeting of OSAB has been called so that OSAB can have the opportunity of being on record for recommending a more conservation/natural open space friendly scenario to City Council rather than having their previous decision assumed by Council members as their final recommendation.
OSAB and City Council need to see you – many numbers of you – and hear from many of you. Pack the place with with people who want to save the Scenic Corridor, preserve arroyos, rescue animal habitat and corridors . . . keep open space open!
TWO IMPORTANT MEETINGS
Please plan to attend. It is crucial to show visible public concern about Castner Range:
The next Ft Bliss Restoration Authority Board (RAB) meeting will take place on April 25th, 6:30PM at the Chaparral Community Center, which is located at 132 County Line Road.
The final meeting for the Castner Range Wide Area Assessment Technical Project Planning (WAA TPP) will take place on Wednesday, 25 April 2012 at 9:00AM, at the Marriot hotel near the El Paso Int’l Airport. This project deals with assessing the hazards on Castner Range.
2012 FRANKLIN MOUNTAINS POPPIES FEST
CASTNER RANGE, MARCH 31, 2012
Castner Range is a former artillery range known for its cultural, geologic and unique biology and get ready, folks, because THE POPPIES ARE IN BLOOM!
Join us for the 2012 Franklin Mountains Poppies Fest on Castner Range! This FREE event will be held March 31, 2012 (10am-4pm) at the El Paso Museum of Archaeology at 4301 Transmountain Road. Enjoy the beauty of the mountains and a full day of nature talks, children’s activities, educational exhibits, demonstrations, live music and entertainment, live wolf, nature tours, Jackson Polk films, refreshments and Mexican poppies are in bloom!
Parking will be at the El Paso Community College Northeast campus. Free ADA accessible shuttle service will be provided from 9am-4:30pm.
10am – 4pm
Unique craft vendors and educational exhibitors
Museum exhibits open
Refreshments include real buffalo stew, Navajo tacos, frybread
At the Rotary Monument Overlook
12:00pm Meet Takota the Golden Eagle, Ambassador for Conservation of the Franklin Mountains with Heather Rivera, Education Specialist, El Paso Zoo
At the Bandstand
10-10:15am Welcome and Blessing from Tigua Cacique
10:15-10:45am Tigua Dancing and Drumming
11:15-12:15pm El Paso Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Electrick Rock Orckestra
12:15-1pm United Intertribal Nations Drumming and Dancing
1-2pm Ceiba and Friends
Inside the Museum of Archaeology
11:00am Direct releases of Mexican Wolves in New Mexico by Jason Burke, Southwest Environmental Center
11:30am How can YOU help preserve Castner Range by Judy Ackerman, Franklin Mountains Wilderness Coalition
12:30pm How do we put an economic value on ecosystem services provided by natural open space in El Paso? By Rick LoBello, Education Curator, El Paso Zoo
Films by Jackson Polk
- Inside the Museum of Archaeology
1:15pm “El Paso’s Hueco Tanks”
2:30pm “Ghost Stories of El Paso Volume 3”
- All tours will be on the Museum grounds and last less than an hour. The starting point for all tours is the gazebo.
10:00am Indian Uses of our Desert sponsored by the Museum of Archaeology
11:00am Identification of Native Plants sponsored by the El Paso Native Plant Society
12:00pm West TX Cacti Tour sponsored by the El Paso Cactus and Rock Club
1:00pm Indian Uses of our Desert sponsored by the Museum of Archaeology
2:00pm Identification of Native Plants sponsored by the El Paso Native Plant Society
3:00pm West TX Cacti Tour sponsored by the El Paso Cactus and Rock Club
For general poppies questions or to become a sponsor for the event contact Naima Montacer at email@example.com or (915) 521-1894.
ROCKIN’ THE ROCK AT THE POPPY FEST!
The El Paso Youth Symphony Orchestra and the ELECTRICK ROCK ORCKESTRA will be ROCKIN THE ROCK at the Poppy Festival on March 31st at 11a.m.
We will perform our set that we will be playing on tour this summer. Our set will feature our FLOWER POWER from our Band FALLRISK! Our female vocalist Autumn Fall and Jordan Ocampo will sing songs like Heartbreaker, Hit Me with Your Best Shot, I’m Just a Girl, 99 Red Balloons, Hey Mickey. Also Come see our out of sight lead guitarists "Jammin James" Octavius Sanchez and "A Train" Adolfo Holguin as they melt faces as they play Rock You Like a Hurricane, Jump, Dont Stop Believing, Sweet Child O Mine and Freebird. Also check out our HOT electrick string section lead by Joshua "Da Bom" Rosenbaum and Lexi Arabitt as they shred on Electrick violin/viola. MORE COWBELL? Dont worry Kaptain Kody Jones and Albert Mendoza got that covered. Whats best of all is the Band FALLRISK is backed up by the ELECTRICK ROCK ORCKESTRA and the show will certainly set off some unexploded ordinance on Castner Range. "We're gonna tear this mountain a new canyon."
EL PASO MUSEUM OF ARCHAEOLOGY
Exhibit on view through April 1, 2012, Free Admission
Artifacts including five featured Maya ceramic vessels graciously loaned by the University Museum of New Mexico State University, Las Cruces are showcased. Other artifacts representing the Maya, Aztec, and lesser known great civilizations from Mexico will be on display along with prints of ancient Maya murals and ruins and a map of ancient Maya territory.
Watercolor Paintings of Rock Art at Hueco Tanks
Exhibit on view through June 3, 2012, Free Admission
The El Paso Museum of Archaeology is currently exhibiting Forrest Kirkland’s images of rock art at Hueco Tanks in the auditorium gallery. Kirkland was the first artist to systematically document prehistoric rock art in Texas, thus his work is well known and admired by those interested in Texas archaeology.
La Noria: A Hydrologic Technology of Yucatan
El Paso Archaeological Society Program
Sunday, March 18, 2012, 2:00 pm, Free Admission
Ms. Nina Williams presents her master’s degree archaeological research on water wheel technology introduced to the Yucatan by the Spanish after 1511. She’ll explore the variation among norias (or water wheels) and offer insight into how technology transfer reengineered Yucatán’s landscape. Nina Williams will be receiving her masters in anthropology at end of 2012 from New Mexico State University.
This program is presented by the El Paso Archaeological Society in partnership with the El Paso Museum of Archaeology. Information: 915-755-4332; firstname.lastname@example.org
Tour of the exhibit
Watercolor Paintings of Rock Art at Hueco Tanks
Saturday, March 24, 2:00 pm, Free Admission
Guest speaker Alex Mares presents his insights and interpretations of these rock art images during this free tour. This tour introduces the exhibit to the public through a casual conversation during which those attending may ask questions and share their knowledge.
El Paso Museum of Archaeology
4301 Transmountain Road, El Paso Texas 79924; 915-755-4332;
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 9 am to 5 pm; Sunday, 12 to 5 pm - - Closed Mondays and City Holidays
PARTY FOR THE PLANET: EARTH DAY
CELEBRATE BIODIVERSITY AT EL PASO ZOO
APRIL 21 – 22, 2012
10 AM – 4 PM
Party for the Planet, hosted by the nation's Association of Zoo and Aquarium's accredited institutions, is one of the largest Earth Day celebrations on record! Millions of zoo and aquarium visitors across North America party for the planet with family fun and renewed commitment to wildlife conservation. This year we are celebrating biodiversity and the many ecosystem services provided by our environment. Guests also learn the latest ways to be kind to their wallet and the environment.
Please join us at the Zoo. We have lots happening this spring with the re-opening of the Hunt Family Spring, the African Star train, a new giraffe encounter where you get to feed the giraffes plus a completely renovated Prairie Dog town!
FMWC has been invited to set up a free booth at the Zoo for this event. Please contact Judy Ackerman or Scott Cutler if you’d be interested in volunteering to staff the booth. Rick LoBello has invited us to to provide a fun and educational booth on how we are helping to protect biodiversity here in El Paso and how your efforts help people connect with wildlife. He would place our FMWC Discovery Station next to his station where he will befocusing on how we all benefit emotionally and spiritually when we connect with wildlife. Other Discovery Stations will highlight other ways the ecosystem benefits us by covering topics such as how the ecosystem helps to control disease, modifies climate, control soil erosion and helps to regenerate habitats that have been harmed by developments.
Please volunteer to help highlight the importance of FMWC to the ecosystem as part of Celebrating Biodiversity. It is not only a community service, it is FUN!
EL PASO YOUTH SYMPHONY
MARIACHIS FOR MOM will be on Saturday May 12th at 4pm at the Coliseum. Ticket release day TBA.
Cost for show is $15-$45 depending on seating. Tickets at Coliseum Box Office
This Summer Maestro Phillip Gabriel Garcia will lead the The El Paso Youth Symphony and The Elecktrick Rock Orckestra on A Diplomatic International Cultural Exchange Tour with the Chuihuahua Youth Symphony, Esperanza Azteca, and Maestro Quezada, which Mayor Cook helped facilitate. Our Epic Hollywood Rock Odyssey which will be called THE GOODBYE WORLD TOUR 2012 will be June 24 to July 2nd. We will perform shows in L.A, Anaheim, Buena Park, Universal City, San Diego and El Paso! We will also have a Meet and Greet Reception with the Youth Orchestras of Los Angeles directed by Maestro Gustavo Dudamel.
Students still have time to join the tour and EPYSO. Rehearsals are on Saturdays from 2-5pm at EPCC Valle Verde room A1201.
President: Scott Cutler
Vice President: Jane Fowler
Secretary: Judy Ackerman
Treasurer: Pat White
At Large Members: Raul Amaya and Nick Havlik
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.