It’s one of the most beautiful and pristine portions of the Franklin Mountains. But it’s off limits to visitors.
That may soon change, however, thanks to an effort to turn Castner Range into a national monument. Scott Cutler belongs to the Frontera Land Alliance, one of the groups spearheading the effort. “Castner range is 7,000 acres of beautiful, open space that abuts the state park on the west,” Culter said, “and is bounded on the north and the south by development, and on the east by development as well.”
The U.S. Army used this part of the Franklin Mountains in Northeast El Paso as an artillery range from the 1920s to the 1960s. Soldiers fired mortars, grenades and large-caliber artillery. It’s been half a century since the guns fell silent on the range. But the Army never cleared out all the unexploded ordnance, or UXO, making Castner a forbidden range to visitors.