Take Action Conservation Issues
We the people want preserved, in its natural state and in perpetuity all of the undeveloped land…
On March 1, 2015, the Franklin Mountains Wilderness Coalition 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. This petition asks the City of El Paso to protect city owned land north of Transmountain Rd on both the east and west sides of our mountains.
Everyone cound be part of this effort by signing a hard copy / and or going online and signing a change.org petition. We distributed and gathered signatures on hard copy petitions and on line until 1 May 2015.
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.”
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.
On June 11, 2015, Jim Tolbert made the following statements at the Public Service Board meeting of El Paso Water Utilities:
From March until May 1, Franklin Mountains Wilderness Coalition, elpasonaturally and others circulated the following petition in person or online:
“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.”
For just two months of collection, we had a total of 6,638 signatures. 3,830 of those were hard copies; 2,830 were online. Signers came from all council districts of El Paso and most zip codes. Many even took time to clip out an advertisement in the Times, El Diario and the Inc., address an envelope, put a stamp on it and send it to me.
One woman wrote: “I don’t want to see our beautiful mountains cluttered with houses.”
Another wrote: “The Franklin Mountains are what make El Paso different from any other city in Texas.”
Another wrote: “This is my heritage to my kids.”
The petition was not written in the form of an ordinance. Thus, City Council is not compelled to do anything more.
But I hope that they along with the PSB do want to take action. I hope that we can find ways to preserve our mountain scenery, secure millions more each year in eco-tourism, control sprawl which will control our onerous property taxes, and help us manage our scarcest most precious resource – water.
We have accumulated the data from the petitions. We can begin again and in short order have an initiative ordinance petition for an ordinance. We’d rather work together.
Please be proactive and not reactive.
When speaking to City Council and other organizations, members of FMWC continue to use these petitions as demonstrations of public support for preserving land around our mountains. El Pasoans care deeply about their mountains and want them conserved for the enjoyment and enrichment of future generations.
We the People Online Petition
YOU CAN ALSO SIGN THE ONLINE PETITION AND EASILY SHARE WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER
WE THE PEOPLE – ONLINE PETITION ON CHANGE.ORG