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Texas Legislature Appropriates $3.5 Million for New Franklin Mountains State Park Headquarters and Visitor Center


El Paso, Texas (June 18, 2015) The Franklin Mountains State Park announced today that $3.5 million has been appropriated by the 84th Legislative Session to construct a new headquarters and visitor center for the sprawling El Paso park. The new facilities, estimated to encompass 7,000 sq. ft., will be built on Transmountain Road near the Museum of Archaeology and the Border Patrol Museum on El Paso’s Northeast Side.

The preservation of the Franklin Mountains and development of a state park are issues that have generated intense interest over the years and have been the focus of countless hours of hard work by many organizations and individuals, including retired UTEP Linguistics professor Richard Teschner, who played a pivotal role in ensuring that the state park receive accommodations worthy of the largest urban wilderness park in the United States.

“The State Park is gorgeous and a jewel to be celebrated, but for too many years it’s made do with a substandard 500-sq.-ft. headquarters built in 1937, lacking public facilities and located way up McKelligon Canyon Road. The building has been grossly inadequate for a 26,600-acre mountain-range park within the boundaries of the 4th largest city in Texas,” says Teschner.


We the people want preserved, in its natural state and in perpetuity all of the undeveloped land...


The Franklin Mountains Wilderness Coalition has launched a new "We the People" petition for everyone to sign calling upon our leaders to work together in saving what remains of the lower elevations of the Franklin Mountains in El Paso. Everyone can be part of this effort by signing a hard copy / and or going online and signing a change.org petition. All the details can be found on the FMWC website at www.franklinmountains.org.

FMWC Secretary Judy Ackerman said “It is such an inspiration to see how many people care about our Franklin Mountains and want to conserve them! People of all ages, including visitors from around the globe, look at our beautiful mountains and it lifts their spirits. We need to protect our natural wonders and scenic vistas.”

The committee organizing the new petition effort encourages everyone to help send a message to our community 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."

Committee member Jim Tolbert said “preserving land means conserving our scarcest resource - water.” We have more land than water. Signing this petition means that we are guaranteeing a good life not just for our grandchildren but for our grandchildren's grandchildren. Our children and generations to come are far more important.

Tolbert points out “reducing sprawl means lower property taxes.” Current sprawl projects in El Paso means that existing homes are paying for the uncompensated costs of sprawl which are at least $10,000 per house, maybe considerably more, without even considering the costs of increased water needs. Sprawl also means additional services such as police and fire. It means more streets and the ongoing maintenance of those streets.

Other benefits of preserving public lands also means lands that can be enjoyed for hiking, biking, walking and more healthful outdoor activities, important to improving the quality of life, decreasing obesity and diabetes which have become epidemic here in El Paso.

Petition gathers also point out that preservation means millions of dollars annually for El Paso from eco-tourism. More people will come to El Paso to enjoy mountain biking, rock climbing, hiking and other recreational activities in our mountains and the surrounding region.

To download and print copies go to franklinmountains.org. For more information contact Jim Tolbert by email at diegotolbert@gmail.com or call 915-525-7364.

Download and print the
documents below and get started today. For more information contact Jim Tolbert by email at diegotolbert@gmail.com or call 915-525-7364.


Map of El Paso Public Lands that can be preserved
We the People Petition

Petition Instructions and Just the Facts








Banner images copyright Laurence Parent Photography, Inc.


Sign the online petition here

then easily share it with family and friends by email, on facebook etc.

You can also print out and get signatures.

We the People Petition

Map of El Paso Public Lands that can be preserved
Petition Instructions and Just the Facts


Meet Mountain Man Jim Tolbert

Petition to keep Franklin Mountains foothills undeveloped gains traction: Watch Jim tell it like it is...
KTSM TV Interview



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Updated July 5, 2015

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Just the Facts:
Franklin Mountains State Park, El Paso, Texas

Franklin Mountains State Park is considered an urban wilderness state park, the largest park of its kind in the continental United States.

-150+ recorded species of birds.
-700+ species of plants.
-Over 90 species of lichen.
-32 species of mammals.
-40 species of amphibians and reptiles.

Franklin Mountains State Park website (http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/franklin-mountains)

New Castner
Range Video

The Frontera Land Alliance, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Franklin Mountains Wilderness Coalition have teamed up using grant funds to produce a 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.

Watch the 9 1/2 minute video in English.

Watch the 9 1/2 minute video in Spanish


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