Saturday, February 6, 2016


Castner Range view.

Rock art students and enthusiasts are asked to support an effort to create a new National Monument to protect Fort Bliss rock art sites. See the information below:

"Significant ancient rock imagery sites, ancient cultural deposits, and historic military sites are located on the 7,000 acre Castner Range at Fort Bliss in El Paso Texas . We now have an opportunity to protect these sites through creation of a new national monument. Congressman Beto O’Rourke submitted a bill December 16, 2015 to create the national monument. The goal is to establish Castner Range as a national monument so that it will be protected in perpetuity. Lands within a national monument feature exceptional scientific, cultural, ecological, geological, historical, and recreational values. If Congress fails to act the President can declare the national monument through the Antiquities Act."

"An El Paso non-profit, The Frontera Land Alliance, is leading the effort and collecting letters of support from individuals, to President Obama for the national monument, showing diverse community support."

Pictographs in White Rock
Shelter, Fort Bliss, TX.

"Letters from organizations are just as valuable as letters from individuals.  If you can contribute a letter of support from businesses, civic and conservation organizations and/or faith leaders please use one of the attached letters and send to the email below. 
Please support this effort by going to where you can access the letter from individuals to the President which must be competed (date, address, signature and printed name) and mailed to Frontera Land Alliance at 3800 N. Mesa Street, Suite A2-258, El Paso, Texas 79902 or scan and email"

"We encourage everyone to edit letters as they choose and use their own letterhead if they like.  Then, For Coordination, Send Original Signed copies to:  The Frontera Land Alliance , 3800 N. Mesa Suite A2 -258, El Paso , TX 79902 ." 

Rock Art, Franklin Mountain,
El Paso area, TX.

“Castner Range is closed to the public due to UXOs (Unexploded ordnance).   You can help protect Castner Range as a National Monument.” Simply go to the web site to download examples of letter formats. This is certainly a worthy cause, please help them out. Remember: Protect The Past  For The Future. 

I am sorry that I was unable to include any photos of actual Castner Range rock art, but I have been unable to locate any specific examples. The rock art illustrations are El Paso area styles, but are not, as far as I know, site specific to Castner Range.

On June 10, 2009, I posted a column on RockArtBlog titled Protecting Rock Art in which I expressed my opinion that one of the best ways to protect rock art sites is to plant poison ivy. I also expressed the (not entirely) cynical thought that if we established toxic and radioactive waste dumps at these sites they might be better protected. This Castner Range proposal provides a new opportunity for rock art site protection. Much of the cultural material at the proposed national monument is on former army firing ranges at Fort Bliss. Yes, the area is loaded with unexploded ordnance and people are strongly discouraged from entering. It might be worth trying in other locations.


Quotes are courtesy of:  Frontera Land Alliance at 3800 N. Mesa Street, Suite A2-258, El Paso, Texas 79902 or scan and email to:

Loendorf, Chris
2011    FORT BLISS ROCK ART PIGMENT ANALYSIS BRUKER TRACER III-V EDXRF STUDY OF PICTOGRAPHS AT WHITE ROCK SHELTER AND PICTURE CAVE, Material Science Laboratory, Gila River Indian Community, Cultural Resource Management Program, Sacaton, Arizona.

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