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Century plants at Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas.

Go Wild for Guadalupe Mountains National Park! Celebrate National Park Week with Free Admission

National Park Service Press Release

April 19, 2014

(Pine Springs, TX) (Pine Springs, TX) – Go wild for the geology, wilderness, history, wildlife, plant life and trails of Guadalupe Mountains National Park during National Park Week, April 19 through 27, 2014. To get the celebration going, Guadalupe Mountains National Park will waive entrance fees on April 19 and 20.

Families with children are invited to ask about our Junior Ranger, Let’s Move Outside, Junior Ranger!, Senior Ranger, Junior Paleontologist, Wilderness Explorer Junior Ranger, Junior Ranger Night Explorer programs at the Pine Springs Visitor Center for Junior Ranger Day (April 26) and everyday. Children of all ages who complete the activities will receive a certificate and badge and are eligible to purchase a Junior Ranger or Senior Ranger patch. Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts are encouraged to participate in our Resource Stewardship Girl Scout Ranger Program ( or Resource Stewardship Scout Ranger Program ( An accessible, 12-minute park slide presentation is available in the Pine Springs Visitor Center Auditorium. Ask the park ranger at the information desk to start the film for you. A short, push-button operated film about McKittrick Canyon, narrated by Petroleum Engineer Wallace E. Pratt, who was instrumental in the creation of Guadalupe Mountains National Park, is available on the patio of the McKittrick Canyon Visitor Contact Station.

Guadalupe Mountains National Park Superintendent Dennis A. Vásquez invites everyone to spend National Park Week at the park, stating “this is a great time of year to visit Guadalupe Mountains National Park. The cold of winter is past and the heat of summer hasn’t yet arrived. We hope everyone will enjoy the geology, the hiking trails, the wilderness, the wildlife, the wonderful night skies, the Pinery, Pratt Cabin and the wonderful historic ranches in the park. Come and camp out overnight, or visit for a day hike and picnic at the Frijole Ranch Group Picnic Area. Bring your horses and take a trail ride. Bring your children out to participate in our Junior and Senior Ranger Programs. We also want to remind everyone to be safe and cognizant of the high fire danger, especially this time of year. Our staff are happy to answer any questions about how to enjoy the park safely.

Visit for more information about what is going on at Guadalupe Mountains National Park and other National Park Service sites throughout the country. You can share your park experiences and photos on the website.

National Park Week is also a good time to explore local parks, trails, and architectural gems sustained through National Park Service programs such as the Rivers Trails Conservation Assistance program and the National Register of Historic Places.

National parks, including Guadalupe Mountains National Park, will waive entrance fees on 9 days during 2014. In addition to April 19-20 (National Park Week’s opening weekend), remaining fee-free dates are August 25 (National Park Service’s 98th birthday), September 27 (National Public Lands Day) and November 11 (Veterans Day). This does not include camping or other fees. More information is available at

Join Friends of Big Bend Rio Bravo International Park Take Action Network has launched a new educational and political initiative to help establish the proposed Big Bend Rio Bravo International Park. To sign up simply subscribe to our email list to learn more about how you and your friends can help with this important international conservation effort.

Message from Rick LoBello on the South Rim of the Chisos Mountains Big Bend National Park

FREE - Join Friends of the Proposed Big Bend - Rio Bravo International Park Get involved, with your help this dream can become a reality!


Join our Parks Conservation Action Network has launched a new Parks Conservation Action Network. To sign up simply subscribe to our free newsletter that will be sent by email on a monthly basis.

Everyone who signs up is encouraged to take one or both of the following steps.

1. Take one of ten easy action steps outlined in our newsletter. Action steps will include deciding to do simple things we all can do to help conservation efforts such as conserving energy and click and send actions on the Internet.

2. Voluntarily report your actions by email at or by text to 915-474-1456 so that progress can be reported to the group. All actions you take and or information you share will be strictly confidential unless you give us your approval to list you as a member of the group on After you sign up for our newsletter you can also show your support for this effort by "Liking" our page on facebook

For our Earth and the future of humanity,
Rick LoBello, website founder









Seven easy ways you can help parks and related conservation efforts

1. The El Paso Zoo is sponsoring a Free FrogWatch Citizen's Science Program at the Zoo on Saturday, May 3. Deadline to register is April 23. Frogs need friends too! Click Here to Register!


2. Franklin and Organ Mountains Conservation Cooperative. 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. Rick LoBello, Education Curator, City of El Paso Zoo, states: “A trans-boundary process involving all stakeholders, both public and private, to promote wildlife and habitat conservation is important to protecting the Franklin Mountains region including adjoining mountain ranges. This effort to conserve the biodiversity and participatory sustainable management of natural resources will help to ensure the desert ecosystem.”Like the New Conservation Cooperative Page NOW

3. Tesso Nilo National Park Sumatra, Indonesia. The palm oil industry is out of control in Southeast Asia and numerous national parks and endangered wildlife are suffuring greatly. Download the free El Paso Zoo Palm Oil Guide and Scanner and learn more about how you can help protect elephants at Tesso Nilo National Park plus Sumatran tigers and other endangered species on the island.Download the free app now!

4. Keep oil out of Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of the Congo. You can help protect Africa's oldest national park by signing the petition now!

5. Adirondack Park wilderness designation Adirondack Forest Preserve, New York. You can help create a wilderness area in Adirondack State Park in New York by signing the Adirondack Park petition now!

6. Stop the slaughter of bison at Yellowstone National Park, Texas You can speak out against this government boondoggle by signing the Defenders of Wildlife petition now!

7. Fossil Bone Exhibit at Big Bend National Park, Texas. You can speak out against this government boondoggle by signing the petition now!

You or your business can join as a partner in helping to promote these and other conservation education efforts by making a donation of any size.


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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