Trump’s terrible no-good border wall is also an environmental disaster
On Wednesday the Center for Biological Diversity and Arizona Rep. Raúl Grijalva, co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, sued the Trump regime and called on federal agencies to undertake a comprehensive probe into the negative environmental impacts of Trump’s proposed border wall.
In a press release, the CBD stated:
“Trump’s border wall will divide and destroy the incredible communities and wild landscapes along the border,” said Kierán Suckling, the Center’s executive director.
“Endangered species like jaguars and ocelots don’t observe international boundaries and should not be sacrificed for unnecessary border militarization. Their survival and recovery depends on being able to move long distances across the landscape and repopulate places on both sides of the border where they’ve lived for thousands of years.”
In 2006, Congress gave Homeland Security broad authority over border control, allowing it among other things to waive environmental protections in the name of national security. But this did not eliminate requirements to determine eco-impacts under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1970, according to CBD’s lawyers.
[W]hat is undeniable is that the 654 miles of walls and fences already on the US-Mexico border have made a mess out of the environment there. They’ve cut off, isolated, and reduced populations of some of the rarest and most amazing animals in North America, like the jaguar and ocelot (also known as the dwarf jaguar). They’ve led to the creation of miles of roads through pristine wilderness areas. They’ve even exacerbated flooding, becoming dams when rivers have overflowed.
And while we don’t yet know exactly what path Trump’s new wall would take, DHS has been eyeing unfenced areas in a Texas wildlife refuge that conservationists consider some of the most ecologically valuable areas on the border — home to armadillos and bobcats. If a wall were to slice through these ecosystems, it could cause irreversible damage to plants and animals already under serious threat.
One reason for the rich diversity of the 2,000-mile borderlands is the fact that government on both sides have protected huge swaths of the region, most of which is lightly populated by humans. Included, for instance, is the ecologically diverse Coronado National Forest, which contains the greatest number of threatened and endangered species of all the national forests in the United States.
(Originally appeared at DailyKos)