skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Monday, June 24, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

America's 'Radical Elders' continue their work for fairness, justice; SCOTUS upholds law disarming domestic abusers; Workplace adoption benefits help families, communities; Report examines barriers to successful post-prison re-entry in NC.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

A congresswoman celebrates Biden protections for mixed status families, Louisiana's Ten Commandments law faces an inevitable legal challenge, and a senator moves to repeal the strict 19th century anti-obscenity and anti-abortion Comstock Act.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

A Minnesota town claims the oldest rural Pride Festival while rural educators say they need support to teach kids social issues, rural businesses can suffer when dollar stores come to town and prairie states like South Dakota are getting help to protect grasslands.

NM Saw Lasting Consequences from Trump's U.S.-Mexico Border Wall

play audio
Play

Monday, September 18, 2023   

The unprecedented attempt to build a wall along the U.S. Mexico border has had devastating effects on wildlife from which they may not recover, according to a New Mexico wildlife expert.

The Trump administration spent an estimated $15 billion constructing more than 400 miles of wall, much of which replaced smaller existing barriers.

Bryan Bird, Southwest program director for Defenders of Wildlife, said construction fragmented wildlife habitats and cut off species' migration routes. Because geography and private land ownership in Texas and Arizona slowed the effort, Bird pointed out much of what was only "vehicle barrier" in New Mexico is now permanent.

"Unfortunately, New Mexico ended up getting the brunt of the border wall construction," Bird explained. "In fact, other than the Bootheel, most of the border between Mexico and New Mexico is walled now."

A recent report by the Government Accountability Office, a nonpartisan government watchdog, showed wall construction desecrated Indigenous cultural sites, hurt wildlife and destroyed vegetation.

Bird pointed out webcam feeds now are documenting how much more difficult the wall has made it for wildlife to cross the international border, where many species already were imperiled.

"The ocelot, the Mexican gray wolf, the jaguar, the cactus ferruginous pygmy owl," Bird outlined. "All of these species are on the verge of extinction, and this border wall may have been the nail in the coffin."

Multiple erosion and flooding hazards were created by construction of the wall, which he said is already showing signs of deterioration.

"Not only was it incredibly, historically expensive and a burden on taxpayers to build it, but now you've got to maintain it," Bird noted. "And if you do not spend a lot of money maintaining it, it's going to fall down."

The Biden administration has been criticized for flood gates being left open along the border wall, which allowed some illegal immigrants to enter. But the U.S. Border Patrol took responsibility, noting the gates have always been opened during monsoon season to prevent flooding and keep the wall from falling over.

Disclosure: Defenders of Wildlife contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Endangered Species and Wildlife, Energy Policy, and Public Lands/Wilderness. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
The 2024 Summer U.S. Conference of Mayors in Kansas City, Mo., will be under the leadership of its president, Mayor Hillary Schieve of Reno, Nev., and host Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas.
(SeanPavonePhoto/Adobe Stock)

play sound

Some Michigan mayors are out of the office this week - but still working for their cities. They're at the 92nd meeting of the United States …


Social Issues

play sound

Summer is here, but some Wisconsin households juggling higher consumer costs and other basic needs might feel like a vacation is out of reach…

Social Issues

play sound

An interim North Dakota legislative committee this week got an update from state leaders on potential moves to reconnect kids in foster care with thei…


Social Issues

play sound

More employers are offering benefits to adoptive parents, according to a new survey by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. The amount of paid …

About a quarter of Americans hold unfavorable views of both former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden. (Christian Delbert/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

The Arizona Court of Appeals recently dismissed a case brought by Republican Arizona attorney general candidate Abraham Hamadeh, Republican Cochise …

Social Issues

play sound

North Carolina's business community is alarmed after Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson praised the controversial House Bill 2, known as the "Bathroom Bill," at …

Social Issues

play sound

Members of the group Radical Elders are participating in a Chicago tech conference this weekend to explain the impact of technology on older Americans…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021