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Pyrrhuloxia. Courtesy of Robert Shantz, rshantz.com

Chihuahuan Desert Fiesta Planned for September 20, 2014

Save the date for the 10th Annual Chihuahuan Desert Fiesta at Tom Mays Park. As soon as we have an update on this event we will post it here.

Big Bend National Park: Peregrine Falcon Nesting Closures

In August 1999, the Peregrine falcon was removed from the federal endangered species list, a move prompted by the falcon's comeback from the brink of extinction. However, throughout Texas there are less than a dozen known nesting pairs and the falcon remains on the state's endangered species list.

Federal Endangered Species policy requires that Peregrine populations continue to be monitored. National Park Service policies require the protection and preservation of all state-listed species and all species of concern, regardless of federal or state classification. In keeping with this mandate, and to provide the nesting falcons with areas free of human disturbance, Big Bend National Park will again temporarily close or place restrictions on the use of certain park lands.

The areas closed to public entry from February 1 through May 31 are:

The Southeast Rim Trail and a portion of the Northeast Rim Trail from the Boot Canyon/Southeast Rim junction to a point just north of Campsite NE-4. All Southeast Rim campsites as well as Northeast (NE) campsites 4 and 5 are closed during this period. Technical rock climbing on rock faces within 0.25 mile of known peregrine eyries, as posted, will not be allowed between February 1 and July 15.

The park does not plan to close any other areas but restrictions may be modified if Peregrine behavior or nesting sites do not follow traditional trends. Through the efforts of federal, state and private agencies, the Peregrine has staged a remarkable comeback since it was placed on the federal list in 1970. Superintendent Cindy Ott-Jones remarked, "The small population found in Big Bend National Park and the Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River represents most of the peregrines found in Texas. We appreciate the continued public support and cooperation to protect these remarkable birds."

Archives 2013

Frontera Gains Support from National Park Service, Mexican wolves, Bolson Tortoises Plus news from Otero Mesa

Check out these links

-El Paso Outside A Chihuahuan Desert Education Coalition Conservation Project

-Ecobased Conservation in the Chihuahuan Desert

-Chihuahuan Desert Natural History Course Online from the UTEP Centennial Museum website

-Land of Lost Borders 
-The Spiral Dance Reflections on Big Bend National Park
-The Mammals of Texas Online Edition
-Takota, a Golden Eagle from the El Paso Zoo.
-Trans Pecos Audubon Bird Checklists. Discover our Chihuahuan Desert Birds
-Share El Paso with Native Plants and Wildlife.
-Native Tree List. Help create wildlife habitat in your neighborhood, plant a native tree in your front yard to provide shade on your street near the sidewalk and somewhere in your backyard. 
-Ever Seen a Big Bend Quonker?  
-Eco-based Conservation in the Chihuahuan Desert - WWF      
-Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center, Fort Davis, Texas
-El Paso Naturally Blog
-Checklist to Mammals of Carlsbad Caverns National Park


Franklin/Organ Mountains Conservation Cooperative Webinar Available online

August 19, 2013. 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. Earlier this year the Franklin/Organ Mountains Conservation Cooperative sponsored a Webinar. This meeting is now available online. First you need to download the GoToMeeting codec programs which allows you to watch recorded meetings using Windows Media Player 9 or higher without subscribing to GoToMeeting.

1.-Download the free The GoToMeeting codec to watch recorded meetings using Windows Media Player 9 or higher without subscribing to GoToMeeting..

2.-Watch and Listen to the Franklin/Organ Mountains Conservation CooperativeWebinar.








































chihuahuandesert.org is the home page of the Chihuahuan Desert Education Coalition. 
Updated April 10, 2014   


Native Plant Society of New Mexico 2014 Annual Meeting - Good to the Last Drop

July 31 to August 2: The El Paso Chapter welcomes you to Baja New Mexico for the 2014 Native Plant Society of New Mexico Annual Meeting. We’ve developed three tracks, Science, Cactus, and Special Interests; seven field trip options; and five workshops for your edification. We’ll learn about preserving land and restoring wetlands. We’ll see the potentials of prickly pear cactus on the moon and on your table. You’ll get to enjoy our Tex-Mex cuisine and appreciate that it is a little different from New Mexican food farther north. Come see us at the corner of two nations/three states for a great meeting.

-Learn more about this important meeting.

We need you! Volunteer to help CDEC spread the word about our great organization.

August1-2: Contact any Board Member to sign up to help staff our booth at the Native Plant Society Meeting. Now: Help plan the 10th Annual Chihuahuan Desert Fiesta on September 20. Contact any Board Member.

-Contact Any Board Member to Sign Up Discover the joy of getting involved with conservation education efforts to help conserve our Chihuahuan Desert.

Frontera Land Alliance Update

Resler Canyon: Look at all that’s happening here! Frontera is working to restore various habitat areas at Resler Canyon. It has suffered over the years from the increased speed and quantity of water that is being channelized through the arroyo. Frontera has hired Van Clothier with Stream Dynamics to prepare a design for a water harvesting area which will help address erosion and create wildlife habitat. Frontera has walked 26 of the 91 acres with Oscar Mestas, with the AgriLife Extension Forest Service, to obtain a plan for what vegetation, if any, to address invasive & non-native species. Frontera will be submitting an application to the US Fish and Wildlife Service for project support. If the support is received, work to remove the invasive species will begin in the winter of 2015.

Vandalism, illegal dumping and trespassing with motorized vehicles are an ongoing issue and are becoming more serious. Frontera volunteers will be going door to door of each homeowner that is fortunate enough to have Resler Canyon as their backyard. We are asking everyone to report any illegal activities. To make reporting easier, Frontera is handing out magnets to each home with key numbers to call—police, fire, vandalism, etc.

The work on the Resler Canyon culverts, directly under Café Italia, has been completed.

Castner Range

We have finished the Land Use Plan; go to to view the entire plan. Hard copies of the land use plan are ready to be handed out at this year’s poppy fest. If you want to help conserve Castner Range, please contact your local representatives—city, county, state and federal. Let them know how important it is to you to keep Castner Range in its natural state. If you would like a presentation on Castner Range please contact the Frontera office.

Where we are at with operating funds and project funds:

Frontera has secured funding for a solid 12 months, thanks to several grants and to you, our dedicated sponsors and partners! We’re now hard at work on the following projects:

National Park Service has partnered with Frontera and has organized a group called The Franklin and Organ Mountains Conservation Cooperative. We are championing a community effort to develop a mapping tool that will identify and classify lands best suited for development and economic growth or more appropriately suited for preservation as natural areas which contribute to healthy lives and educational opportunities. Addressing Resler Canyon habitat needs.

Frontera has started discussions with El Paso Water Utilities asking to adopt two ponds which the city manages in the upper valley. The goal is to improve habitat for local and migrating birds, for other wildlife and to offer various education opportunities with guided tours.

If you wish to sponsor, support or volunteer for one of the above projects, please contact our office.


Desert News

-Mesquite dying to reach water
-California protects bobcats near parks

-Desert Storm: Battle Brews Over Obama Renewable Energy Plan
-Good example of how Federal Funds are available to buy land to protect desert wildlife

-Wildlife Sightings Report - Big Bend National Park



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


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La información en español.











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