Inspired by our national monuments, Richard Teschner gives notable conservation gift
The Conservation Lands Foundation is pleased to announce the receipt of a $25,000 contribution from Richard Teschner of El Paso, Texas. The donation will be used to further the Foundation’s overall mission, with special emphasis on defending national monuments and creating new national monuments on land for which monument status has long been sought.
Teschner is particularly supportive of projects in the Rio Bravo region, which includes New Mexico, Arizona and Texas. CLF Executive Director, Brian Sybert, said, “The Conservation Lands Foundation is thrilled that Dr. Teschner’s donation will further our efforts to build grassroots advocacy and advance conservation campaigns in the region and throughout the West.”
Dr. Teschner has served as a Professor Emeritus of Linguistics at the University of Texas-El Paso since 2010 and has been active in El Paso-area land conservation for the last 15 years. In 2005, he funded the purchase of the 91-acre Resler Canyon on the city’s West Side, originally sited for 198 single-family houses atop two arroyos and now the property of El Paso’s Frontera Land Alliance, the area’s only 501(c)3 nationally-accredited land-trust organization.
For the last eight years, Teschner has been intensely engaged in the campaign to conserve El Paso’s 7,081-acre Castner Range, initially a live-munitions component of the Fort Bliss U.S. Army base and closed to artillery activity in 1966. Castner Range is valued for its military history, its indigenous artifacts and its water-conserving alluvial fans. The Range also contains 25% of El Paso’s iconic Franklin Mountains, whose highest peak reaches 7,192 feet.
“I’m 75, in remission from cancer, and I hope to see the day when Castner Range becomes a national monument,” said Teschner. “The precedent for conserving a military property like Castner is the central California coast’s Fort Ord National Monument, dedicated in 2012,” Teschner noted. “Our Castner Conservation Campaign is confident that eventually the Range will also become a monument one day. The campaign has been unanimously endorsed by all levels of local government, opposed by no one, and has the support of over 35,000 El Pasoans who have submitted comments and letters in favor of the proposed monument over the past two years.” Additionally, preserving the Range would almost complete the conservation of all the Franklins, 70% of which have formed part of a state park since 1979.