House Representative

González, Mary

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 02/02/2015

Representative Mary E. González Working Toward A Visitors Center for Hueco Tanks

"Hueco Tanks Can Become the Signature Natural Academy in our Region"

AUSTIN, TX – Representative Mary E. González (75) filed a bill that could result in establishment of a Visitors Center at Hueco Tanks State Park & Historic Site. House Bill 988 directs the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department to carry out a study to "examine the need for and feasibility" of the center and report its results to the legislature by May 1, 2016.

"Today we proudly take the step that will hopefully result in further investment into what can become the signature natural academy for the study of history, archeology, biology, and cultural heritage in our region," said Representative González. "Hueco Tanks has been treasured by El Pasoans for generations. A state-of-the-art visitors center will introduce students to the principles of respectful stewardship, help preserve the site's integrity, anchor research efforts, and, boost tourism based on cultural and ecological appreciation."

A review of the public use plan (which dates back to 2000) is currently underway and had its first formal meeting on January 27th. Carried out in conjunction with Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, a working group will meet through the summer in a process that incorporates several public meetings. The working group is made up of representatives from the culturally affiliated tribes, including the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo and Mescalero Apache, as well as a rich spectrum of user groups. Representative González and Senator José Rodríguez have been working since 2011 to enhance the educational component for Hueco Tanks and assure that management of the delicate natural environment and archeological deposits are sufficient to preserve the park for generations to come.

For more information about the Public Use Plan Review, contact Ms. Arlina Palacios, District Director, at (915) 790-2299. To make reservations to visit Hueco Tanks, call (512) 389-8911.