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Trespass livestock often come across the border in Boquillas Canyon at Big Bend National Park.

Easy ways you can help parks and related conservation efforts


El Paso Conservation Efforts

1. Franklin and Organ Mountains Conservation Cooperative. A newly formed Franklin/Organ Mountains Conservation Cooperative will champion community efforts to develop a landscape conservation plan that helps identify lands for population growth and development while protecting components of the landscape that contribute to healthy ecosystem functions. Rick LoBello, Education Curator, City of El Paso Zoo, states: “A trans-boundary process involving all stakeholders, both public and private, to promote wildlife and habitat conservation is important to protecting the Franklin Mountains region including adjoining mountain ranges. This effort to conserve the biodiversity and participatory sustainable management of natural resources will help to ensure the desert ecosystem.”Like the New Conservation Cooperative Page NOW. Download and read the
Franklin Organ Mountains Conservation Cooperative White Paper.


2. Help save desert lands surrounding Franklin Mountains State Park. The The Franklin Mountains Wilderness Coalition has launched a new "We the People" petition for everyone in El Paso to sign calling upon our leaders to work together in saving what remains of the lower elevations of the Franklin Mountains. You and your family and friends can help send a message to our City by printing out a petition today and collecting signatures between now and May 1. The petition reads as follows: "We the people want preserved, in its natural state and in perpetuity, all of the undeveloped land owned by the City of El Paso on the western side of the Franklin Mountains that is north of Transmountain Road, east of the EPNG Pipeline Road and south of the New Mexico/El Paso boundary and on the eastern side of the Franklin Mountains that is north of Transmountain, west of Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. and south of the New Mexico/El Paso boundary." Download and print the documents below and get started today. For more information contact Jim Tolbert by email at or call 915-525-7364. ways.”Help collect signatures on the petition.

3. Help save the Castner Range area of the Franklin Mountains in Northeast El Paso. The Frontera Land Alliance, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Franklin Mountains Wilderness Coalition have teamed up using grant funds to produce a new video by Jackson Pope to assist in conserving Castner Range. All involved hope to preserve the natural areas, wildlife corridors and natural springs that occur on Castner Range, Fort Bliss. The Castner Range Conservation Report is available! This 104-page study was prepared for the Castner Conservation Conveyance Committee ("4-C's") by SONRI Inc., of Boerne, TX and CALIBRE Systems, Inc. of Alexandria, VA with funding from a $300,000 grant obtained with the assistance of El Paso's Congressman Silvestre Reyes and administered through the Department of Defense's Office of Economic Adjustment.”Learn more and Take Action.

4. El Paso conservation groups launch new campaign to save desert wildlife habitat - Conservation groups in El Paso say that preserving wildlife habitat on both sides of the Franklin Mountains will benefit El Paso in several ways: preservation will help us sustain the scarce resource of water - an effort which includes all El Pasoans not just those living closer to the mountains; continued enjoyment of hiking and biking trails already in existence and utilized by the public; improvement of our quality of life especially as El Paso seeks to reach its goal of decreasing obesity and diabetes; protecting wildlife and making sure that they have adequate habitat and range in order to survive; and, ensuring that millions of dollars annually will come into El Paso through ecotourism as more and more people enjoy mountain biking, rock climbing, hiking and other recreational activities in our mountains and the surrounding region. More

Regional Conservation Efforts

1. Friends of the Proposed Big Bend - Rio Bravo International Park In 2010, President Obama and President Calderón announced that both the U.S. and Mexico would work jointly in leading the development of an Action Plan for the Big Bend/Rio Bravo Protected Area. We need our representatives in Congress and the Senate to pass legislation in concert with the government of Mexico creating the international park for the purpose of and the need to promote the long-term protection of the region's fascinating flora and fauna.

The establishment of the international park would not require new international bridges and crossings or that new lands be acquired. Current land-management practices in both countries would not have to change.

The giant park would help both countries better address key issues such as protection water and air quality, control of invasive species, and management of wildland fire.

The park would become a permanent monument and symbol of peace between the U.S. and Mexico, one that will celebrate the friendship between the two countries and be a meeting ground where the people of both countries and citizens from all parts of the world could come together to learn about each other's culture while coming to better understand the natural world that they all share.”Sign up for email news updates.

2. Fossil Bone Exhibit at Big Bend National Park, Texas. You can speak out against this government boondoggle by signing the petition now!


International Conservation Efforts

1. Keep oil out of Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of the Congo. You can help protect Africa's oldest national park by signing the petition now!

National Conservation Efforts

1. Adirondack Park wilderness designation Adirondack Forest Preserve, New York. You can help create a wilderness area in Adirondack State Park in New York by signing the Adirondack Park petition now!

2. Stop the slaughter of bison at Yellowstone National Park, Texas. You can speak out against this government boondoggle by signing the Defenders of Wildlife petition now!










US/Mexico International Park Information

Friends of the Proposed Big Bend - Rio Bravo International Park


Discover the largest park in Texas: Big Bend National Park

by Rick LoBello

June 24, 2015

I have absolutely no doubt that Big Bend National Park will always be my favorite park. It was here that I was first hired as a park ranger in 1975 and later became the Executive Director of the Big Bend Natural History Association. I spent the best part of my 17 years living and working at Panther Junction Park Headquarters and the Chisos Basin.

To experience Big Bend one must plan on the visit as a destination, not as a drive through trip on your way somewhere else. You need at least three full days to see the major sights and you better plan on getting out your car and taking a least a short walk along each of the major trails. Don't let a 5 mile round trip to the top of Lost Mine Trail discourage you because you are not in the best shape. Simply hike as far as you can and turn around if you must, just get out of the car for Pete's sake!

The best time to go would be the cooler months of October to February, although if you are in good shape and can take the heat, almost any day of the year is a good time to go.

If you appreciate the wonders of the natural world and the geologic landscape, you're going to love Big Bend.

Be sure to protect yourself from the sun and always carry water. Here are a few of my travel tips for anyone visiting the park.

1. Don't miss hiking inside Santa Elena Canyon at sunrise and dinner at the Starlight Theater in the evening where you can oftentimes see a great sunset. Get there at least 1-2 hours before sunset to walk around the ghost town and there is a great gift shop next to the Starlight.

2. The hike to the top of Lost Mine Trail is another must do hike on another morning and go to the top, take a lunch and water and enjoy.

3. On the east side of the park go to the Hot Springs for sunset and a night time (dark) dip in the springs. Bring a flashlight. The Boquillas Canyon trail on the east side of the park is also great early morning and you can go to Boquillas for lunch. Say hi to the Falcon Family.

4. Other favorite trails of mine include: Tuff Canyon, South Rim (all day hike), Emory Peak (all day hike), and the Window Trail (morning or afternoon). Watch the sunset from the Chisos Mountains Lodge or the Window View trail after dinner in the restaurant. Watch for bears in the Chisos Mountains

Big Bend National Park Official Website


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You or your business can join as a partner in helping to promote these and other conservation education efforts by making a donation of any size.

Join Friends of Big Bend Rio Bravo International Park Take Action Network has launched a new educational and political initiative to help establish the proposed Big Bend Rio Bravo International Park. To sign up simply subscribe to our email list to learn more about how you and your friends can help with this important international conservation effort.

Message from Rick LoBello on the South Rim of the Chisos Mountains
Big Bend National Park

FREE - Join Friends of the Proposed Big Bend - Rio Bravo International Park Get involved, with your help this dream can become a reality!


Join our Parks Conservation Action Network

Show your support by "Liking" our page on facebook

For our Earth and the future of humanity,
Rick LoBello, website founder


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