A section of land that’s part of the Franklin Mountain State Park off the Lazy Cow Trailhead in Northeast El Paso was accidentally bulldozed leaving behind damaged trails and vegetation.
That’s why some land preservationists are working to find out who’s accountable.
“Who gave information to cut the desert in the city and who’s directing traffic out there is a little vague but that’s what the Senator’s office is going to start looking into and get all parties involved in the same room,” Norm Christianson with the Borderland Mountain Bike Association (BMBA) shared.
BMBA is a non-profit group who advocates for open outdoor space and mountain biking in the El Paso area.
It’s calling on city and congressional leaders to learn why sections of land near the Franklin Mountain State Park were recently accessed and according to them – destroyed.
State Senator Jose Rodriguez said contractors working on behalf of the Department of Defense and the Army Corps of Engineers inadvertently bulldozed state park land as part of a project with Fort Bliss on land owned by El Paso Water.
“They had asked the city for permission to cut access roads and somebody from the city gave them permission to which we do not know who that is yet,” Christianson said, “They were supposed to stop at the state park boundary.”
City Representative Dr. Sam Morgan, who represents that district, addressed the situation.
“He took immediate action. He hiked out into the desert in his suit and dress shoes for about two miles where the activity was going on and he stopped the tractors so at this point the tractors are temporarily stopped from further destruction but we need to make sure that the destruction doesn’t continue,” Michael Johnson, El Paso hiker shared.
As this is an ongoing project, Senator Rodriguez told KTSM “My office has also made numerous attempts to contact the Army Corps of Engineers regarding this ongoing project but we have not received any information from them as of yet.”
“I think maybe the next steps are to make sure that it doesn’t continue and then assess what needs to be done to try to make it what it was before, whether anything can be done,” Johnson added.
Dr. Morgan’s staff told KTSM he’s expected to have a meeting with Fort Bliss to further discuss the project on Friday.