The city of El Paso has been growing in recent years.
The empty deserts of the far east are now filled with homes and businesses, and in the west, they creep closer and closer to the Franklin Mountains.
A lot of people see this recent expansion as a good thing, new businesses and attractions have come in providing new jobs and stimulating our cities economy. Unfortunately, this expansion is beginning to encroach upon some of the natural features of our beautiful city.
One example of this is in north-west El Paso, nestled within residential neighborhood lies the Lost Dog Trailhead, an almost 8-mile trail that leads to the Franklin Mountains and back.
As you reach the road leading to this vast area of land you see a metal sign with a cut-out of a dog standing on top an arrow simply saying, “Trail Head.”
If you have gone by recently you may have even seen a carboard sign strapped to the metal pole stating “Vote Yes, Prop A.” Many people use this trail to go mountain biking, hiking or even just a brisk walk with an adventurous pup, but this may not last much longer.
The city is currently planning to clear out this area to make room for a new residential/commercial district. Luckily members of the community will not stand to let this beautiful piece of land be cleared out. A political campaign known as “Save Lost Dog” has come forward, urging the community to help save the Lost Dog Trail.
After a petition reached over 13,000 supporters the issue was set to be put on an upcoming ballot, which happens to be in an election coming up in May 4th. Some supporters include one of El Paso’s former senators Eliot Shapleigh as he recently put out a testimonial asking the community to go out and vote as he stated the importance of protecting the land near the mountains, “We have over 24,000 acres of an urban park in this great community, it’s one of our treasures that attracts people from all over the country to come see it and hike it.
Since I was twelve years old, I have been going up the Franklin Mountain on the C road to enjoy our great mountains and desert. It’s great exercise, it’s great to be outdoors, and you see everything from coyotes to quail.”Even our current senator Jose Rodriguez has shown his support to saving lost dog, sharing a picture of him holding a “Save Lost Dog” sign from the Texas State Capital.
In the end Expansion is inevitable, it is part of growth and city-life; but it seems like we need to stop and ask ourselves, it this being done correctly? Are these changes really going to be right for our city?
There are people that see this apprehension to large commercial projects as an old and outdated way of thinking, something that might keep El Paso from reaching the ranks of cities like Dallas or Houston. The reality is societies been growing in a way that does not work with nature, but often works against it.
It is certainly a daunting task to find the right way the people of El Paso can live alongside the splendor of nature we have at our doorstep. As with most things big changes start off with small step, so if you are ready to make that step and are tired of seeing the urban sprawl coming closer and closer to destroying parts of this beautiful landscape we call home, make sure to go out to the polls on May 4th and vote yes on Proposition A.