Friday, May 27, 2022

Play

High gas prices are not slowing down Memorial Day travel, early voting starts tomorrow in Nevada, and Oregon activists seek accountability for dioxin contamination in low-income Eugene.

Play

Education Secretary Cardona calls for action after the Texas massacre, Republicans block a domestic terrorism vote, and Secretary of State Blinken calls China the greatest challenger to U.S. and its allies.

Play

High-speed internet is being used to entice remote workers to rural communities, Georgia is offering Black women participation in a guaranteed income initiative, and under-resourced students in Montana get a boost toward graduation.

Border Map Shows Wall Construction Damages Landscape, Migration Routes

Play

Wednesday, July 21, 2021   

TUCSON, Ariz. - A newly released map identifies portions of the U.S.-Mexico border wall built by the Trump administration, and many conservation groups and wildlife advocates find it alarming.

The Biden administration halted construction in January, and said it will use federal funds to assess damage caused by the new, higher walls along Arizona's 262-mile border with Mexico.

Myles Traphagen, borderlands program coordinator for the Wildlands Network, who created the map, said in addition to environmental damage, the project identified several areas in Arizona and other border states where restoration is needed.

"There's very high biodiversity in southeastern Arizona, southwestern New Mexico," Traphagen explained. "It's a meeting ground of the neotropics and the temperate zones. It's the only place where the jaguar and the black bear share the same trail."

Traphagen pointed out some border landscapes in Arizona have been permanently altered, including one area where a high-speed road was built. Other areas are blocking rivers and wildlife migration routes.

Traphagen noted much of the wall construction in Arizona and New Mexico flew under the radar, keeping many from realizing the extent of the wall built in three years, or how much of the U.S. was walled off from Mexico.

"The border wall debate, border wall fight, it's really suffered from a lack of constituency because you have a pretty low population density in a lot of these places," Traphagen observed. "Access is difficult, and they're really off the beaten track."

Upon halting border-wall construction, the Biden administration said it plans to perform environmental assessments, which had been waived by then-President Donald Trump to speed construction. Much of the damage was done because environmental standards were not in force.

"The government waived all of these environmental protection laws, all the cultural protection laws, the historical laws," Traphagen recounted. "The fact that, that unelected official, the secretary of homeland security, has the authority to waive all of these laws that really flies in the face of the American democratic process."

The Biden administration has not given a timeline for what it plans to do with the existing structure, but said it is unlikely any more sections of wall will be built.

Disclosure: Wildlands Network contributes to our fund for reporting on Endangered Species & Wildlife, Environment, Public Lands/Wilderness, and Urban Planning/Transportation. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
Early voting locations will be open across Nevada for several weeks, from May 28 through June 10. (Jlmcanally/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The Nevada primary election is June 14, and early voting starts tomorrow and runs through June 10. Mail balloting is now permanent, so every active …


Social Issues

Democrats in the Florida Legislature are reviving calls for stricter gun-control laws, following the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. Florida's …

Environment

This week, in honor of World Otter Day, conservation groups are looking to raise awareness about efforts to restore sea otters along more areas of …


There's been a roughly 38% drop in drowning deaths over the past two decades. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

With the unofficial start to summer, pools around Ohio are opening this Memorial Day weekend, and when it comes to swim time, experts encourage …

Environment

Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of water recreation season, and before putting on a swimsuit, Iowa environmental experts say being mindful …

A 2019 report from the Economic Policy Institute found teacher shortages were especially acute in higher-poverty schools. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

As the nation processes the horrific shooting in Uvalde, where 19 children and two teachers were killed, teachers' unions across Illinois and America …

Social Issues

The cost of heading out of town this Memorial Day weekend will be higher than past years, with higher gas prices and inflation hitting travelers…

Health and Wellness

One of Connecticut's largest health systems launched a new resource in Hartford this month, aimed at helping patients access healthy and nutritious …

 

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