EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — A popular and historic piece of land that’s right next to the Mount Franklin State Park is receiving one of its first layers of protection to preserve natural habitats and wildlife.

Courtesy: Frontera Land Alliance

For many years, local land preservationists such as the Frontera Land Alliance organization have been working to protect Castner Range as natural open space which encompasses more than 11 square miles and is home to many wildlife along with plant species that’s listed in danger.

Janae Reneuad Field, Executive Director of the Frontera Land Alliance, said the mission to preserve and protect Castner Range has been underway since the 70’s in efforts of protecting wildlife, natural habitats, while also providing a quality of life.

“1978 the state park was created and since then, this has been an ongoing effort to conserve the land at some capacity in perpetuity,” Reneaud Field shared.

“It’s home to I believe 27 wildlife and plant species that are right now listed as threatened and in danger. That’s really important for us to understand,” El Paso County Commissioner David Stout said.

On Monday, the El Paso County Commissioner’s court presented and passed a resolution that requests President Biden to use his authority under the 1906 Antiquities Act to establish a Castner Range National Monument designation.

“It’s just amazing what impact this will have on the community knowing that it wont be developed moving forward once it becomes a national monument,” Reneuad Field shared, “Everything that was done in the past is valuable and it’s holding up what we’re doing now.” It’s all connected, and we’re hearing people say that they’re excited to see that it’s back. They’re hoping that the new administration will move forward with it for the preservation of the land.”

Commissioner David Stout says it’s important for the County, the City, and organizations fighting to preserve the land to share a united voice, “We hope that this will help our Congresswoman Veronica Escobar to be able to push for this on the federal level and ultimately it’s up to the President to use his authority under the 1906 Antiquities Act to be able to establish Castner Range as a National Monument.”

City council is expected to discuss and take action on a similar proposed resolution during its meeting on Tuesday.

If you’re interested in supporting the movement to convince the President to designate Castner Range as a National Monument, click here. You can also visit the Castner Range National Monument Facebook page for more.