The Castner Range National Monument campaign is one of our four priority campaigns for 2022. Castner Range is a mountainous 7,081 acres located between city neighborhoods and Franklin Mountains State Park in the majority Latinx community of El Paso, Texas. Renowned for its annual display of blooming Mexican Yellow Poppies, Castner Range contains artifacts and petroglyphs dating back 12,000 years. In a state with only 4% public land, free access to open spaces is limited, and the majority low-income populationin El Paso is often priced out of paying for access to parks.
In April, 2021, Representative Veronica Escobar introduced the Castner Range National Monument Act.
And in March, 2022, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland visited El Paso to hear from the community about the importance of protecting Castner Range. The Biden Admin has made it clear that pending legislation and strong community support are critical elements to securing a monument designation, both of which are present in this campaign.
Frontera Land Alliance is the leading local grassroots group responsible for building strong community support for the protection of Castner Range. The small team of four people is seeking funding to increase communications capacity, and funding to travel to Washington, DC to continue putting pressure on the administration to move forward with the monument designation. We’re currently supporting Nuestra Tierra Conservation Project and Monumental SHIFT for their work on Castner, neither of which are based in El Paso where the proposed monument is located. This grant will support Frontera’s work on the Castner Range.