Public Meeting Announcement for September 20, 2023

Declaration of Castner Range as a National Monument

On March 21, 2023, President Biden designated Fort Bliss’s Castner Range as a National Monument. Located in Franklin Mountains near El Paso, Texas, Castner Range is a closed area of Ft. Bliss that will be remediated for public access.

From 1926 to 1966, the U.S. Army primarily used the land for live-fire training, and military munitions remain on much of the property. Although no longer used for training, approximately 6,672 acres of Castner Range remain under Army control.

Castner Range is an area of great scenic beauty and biodiversity, as well as archaeological sites of historic and cultural significance. Castner Range was previously used for training to prepare our Soldiers to fight overseas in World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.

President Biden’s selection of the U.S. Army as the manager of the site will better enable the service to execute its environmental cleanup responsibilities and leverage its strong, preexisting relationships with the El Paso community. It will also be the first national monument that the military has managed in over 90 years, showcasing the ability of the Army to steward our lands for both military use and the general public.

  • Situated within Fort Bliss, Texas and the Franklin Mountains, El Paso, Texas, Castner Range contains considerable biodiversity and cultural resources, which merit protection for future generations.
  • This National Monument designation honors our Veterans, preserves the area for Indigenous peoples, and provides opportunities for the local community to enjoy the area’s natural beauty.
  • The Army, elected officials, and local partners will host a public celebration near the monument shortly after designation. The Army will also provide a website and other public information about Castner Range.

Castner Range Map

Castner Range National Monument map.


3Rs Logos

Access to Castner Range National Monument is currently restricted while the Army completes the cleanup process.

Always follow the Army’s 3Rs (Recognize, Retreat, and Report) of Explosive Safety:

  • Recognize: when you may have encountered a munition and that munitions are dangerous.
  • Retreat: do not approach, touch, move, or disturb the item, but carefully leave the area.
  • Report: call 911 and advise the police of what you saw and where you saw it.
Castner Range with orange Mexican Poppies
Photo by Mark C. Clune

How to get involved

The Army will convene a public planning meeting on June 30, 2023 at the Wyndham El Paso Airport Hotel and Water Park (2027 Airway Boulevard, El Paso, Texas 79925) from 11:00AM – 12:00PM to solicit input on long-term management options.

Future Plans

The Army will continue to remove munitions on Castner Range, a process that will take many years to fully complete. As areas are made safe for public entry, the Army will analyze the public access opportunities.

For more information:


Last updated: September 13, 2023