EL PASO, Texas - Castner Range received big help for its efforts to gain national monument status.
The El Paso Community Foundation (EPCF) established a fund to preserve the range located on the foothills of the Franklin Mountains. EPCF President and CEO Eric Pearson said the fund currently stands at $75,000, which was gained from numerous donations and a $10,000 donation from an anonymous individual. The fund protects the land but it won't provide access to the public.
Pearson and President of the Frontera Land Alliance Janae Field announced the fund on Friday a long side Congressman Beto O'Rourke. The three, a long with numerous individuals, worked on a public campaign to get Castner Range designated as a national monument.
"We got very close. Working with the office of representative O'Rourke, we couldn't ask for more help," Pearson said. "They got three lines into 1,500 of the national defense authorization act that protects this range for the foreseeable future."
Pearson said EPFC is still working on receiving more funds to help assist with Castner Range's national monument efforts.
"The work isn't done yet," Pearson said. "We want to get to the national monument status. We don't want this beautiful place just to be protected and left. We want it to be protected and we want to provide access to people in the community to enjoy its history."
The piece of land used to be a live-artillery range for the U.S. Army.