AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Friends of Cross Bar SRMA held their first media day to provide insight on Cross Bar events, fundraising initiatives and other information.
Cross Bar SRMA is located in North Amarillo and is the only Bureau of Land Management in the state of Texas. Cross Bar was designated as a special recreation management area.
“We will have camping we have about 27 campsites planned we will have trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding, said Lori Van Ongevalle.” “So it will be a multiuse area, there is also a hunting archery hunting, buy permit and just basically come out and join nature.”
Aside from recreational activities, Cross Bar will also have educational opportunities. West Texas A&M University and Texas Tech University have educational wildlife programs that study the land.
Cross Bar wildlife includes elk, whitetail, mule deer, coyotes and badgers.
Friends of Cross Bar is a non-profit organization that is focused on helping raise funding for the project. Currently, they have applied for two grants and plan on applying for more.
All received grants must be matched and by starting to bring awareness to Cross Bar, the leadership team hopes to increase funding.
As of now there is no set date that Cross Bar will open but the leadership team is hopeful that it will be sometime in the next five years.
The planning, funding and designation process takes years.
“An outdoor recreation spot that goes through a stringent review process, and environmental assessments,” said Adrian Escobar Natural Resource Cross Bar Manager. “Resource management plan, a lot of outreach to the public. It’s not an overnight deal. It’s a process that takes years, I believe, our Resource Management Plan, evaluation, it was a process that took over seven years.”
Preserving and improving the land is a top priority for everyone involved and plays a vital role in the planning process.
“A lot of folks come out and say this is a beautiful piece of land, we don’t want it trampled on,” said Wes Reeves, Steering Committee Member. “So we’re very aware of that, we have to be very careful of how we treat it, as I said, the federal government owns and manages this land and so they have a lot of interest in preserving the wildlife and preserving the vegetation is here and actually trying to bring it back to more of a pristine setting the way it would have looked say in 1876 when people first started coming out here. So that’s why we’re looking at only limiting the trails to equestrian hiking and cycling, bicycling.”
Friends of Cross Bar plans on having more events on the land as planning continues. One of the largest problems that Cross Bar is currently facing is that in order to get to the land, visitors have to go through private property and get a permit.
Officials, restaurant owners, Friends of Cross Bar and the community are hoping that once Cross Bar opens it will promote more tourism in Amarillo and make the city a destination place to travel. While also having a positive impact on the quality of life.