Friday, September 29, 2006

Berlin Wall for Wildlife

The Senate will probably vote on the border fence bill, HR 6061, in the next couple of days before they recess. This is a bad bill for so many reasons, but one you may not have considered is its detrimental effect on wildlife and the environment. The wall will create an enormous wildlife barrier spanning 700 miles of the international boundary and nearly the entirety of Arizona's southern boundary. The bill not only mandates construction of this multi-layer fence, but also would exempt the Department of Homeland Security from adequately analyzing and protecting environmental and cultural resources, or from consulting with the public, and will affect hundreds of miles of national parks, national wildlife refuges, national forests, and tribal lands.

The Center for Biological Diversity has been spearheading a campaign against the building of the wall, for the following reasons:

This massive wall on 700 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border is a colossal environmental disaster. Walls would block wildlife movement corridors and severely harm natural landscapes and rivers along our fragile southern border. The only living things the walls won't stop are people.

More border walls and militarization will be highly detrimental to endangered species and important wild areas, such as the Cactus Pygmy Owl and Sonoran Pronghorn in Arizona, Flat-Tailed Horned Lizard and Peninsular Ranges Bighorn Sheep in California, Jaguar and Mexican Gray Wolves in New Mexico, and the Rio Grande River, Ocelot, and Big Bend National Park in Texas. Endangered species need to cross their borderland habitat often, and the new walls will crush their ability to survive and recover.

Instead of building a new ‘Berlin Wall’ on our Nation’s southern boundary, a key focus of enforcement efforts should be wildlife-friendly vehicle barriers in strategic and at-risk places on the border, such as the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, Goldwater Range, Buenos Aries National Wildlife Refuge and Coronado National Forest. These barriers have proven to be very successful.
As the quote says, the only species that won't be kept from crossing the border is homo sapiens. Desperate people are endlessly inventive, but deer, wolves, jaguars and lizards recognize no political boundaries - only their natural habitats. More of our natural treasures and wild lands will suffer from this madness, while business will continue hiring the undocumented workers who will figure out a way across, under, around, over, the wall. Visit the Center for Biological Diversity and send this action message to your senators. Do more, call your senators offices today, and ask them not to vote for this crazy bill.

posted at 2:03:00 PM by marigolds2

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