The Environmental Consequences of A Wall On The U.S.-Mexico Border


A visitor stands next to the U.S.-Mexico border fence at Friends of Friendship Park on February 4, 2017 in San Ysidro, California. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

On January 25, President Donald Trump signed an executive order instructing construction to begin on a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Environmentalists and civil rights activists say the proposed wall on the southern border with Mexico is a threat to the environmental rights of the people who live on both sides of the border.

“When you have such beautiful wilderness areas as we have here in Arizona, the idea of putting this large wall that prevents the migration of animals, that scars the earth itself, and especially knowing how ineffectual it is, is something that is just sad,” said Juanita Molina, the executive director of Border Action Network, an organization that advocates for the health and wellness of people who live along the border. “The reality is that border communities are porous by nature.”

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The Endangered Species Act may be heading for the threatened list. This hearing confirmed it.

The Endangered Species Act may be heading for the threatened list. This hearing confirmed it.

February 15 at 4:05 PM

A Senate hearing to “modernize the Endangered Species Act” unfolded Wednesday just as supporters of the law had feared, with round after round of criticism from Republican lawmakers who said the federal effort to keep species from going extinct encroaches on states’ rights, is unfair to landowners and stymies efforts by mining companies to extract resources and create jobs.

The two-hour meeting of the Environment and Public Works Committee was led by Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), who said last month that his focus in a bid to change the act would be “eliminating a lot of the red tape and the bureaucratic burdens that have been impacting our ability to create jobs,” according to a report in Energy and Environment News.

In his opening remarks, Barrasso declared that the act “is not working today,” adding that “states, counties, wildlife managers, home builders, construction companies, farmers, ranchers and other stakeholders” have made that clear in complaints about how it impedes land management plans, housing development and cattle grazing, particularly in western states, such as Wyoming.

Continue reading “The Endangered Species Act may be heading for the threatened list. This hearing confirmed it.”

Protecting the Endangered Species Act Protects People and Nature

Protecting the Endangered Species Act Protects People and Nature

Statement of Eric Holst, Associate Vice President of Working Lands, Environmental Defense Fund

February 15, 2017

(WASHINGTON – February 15, 2017) The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works held a hearing at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, February 15, 2017 to discuss the “Modernization of the Endangered Species Act.”

“The Endangered Species Act (ESA) is one of our nation’s bedrock environmental laws, preventing the extinction of some of America’s most iconic wildlife – from the bald eagle that flies on the presidential seal to the New England cottontail that inspired the beloved fictional character Peter Rabbit.

“It should come as no surprise that the overwhelming majority of Americans, 90 percent of voters, support the law and want to see continued protections for the open prairie, tall forests and clean rivers that our nation’s wildlife call home. By protecting these ecosystems, we are also protecting healthy communities, vibrant recreation economies, and a rich natural heritage for future generations of Americans to enjoy. Continue reading “Protecting the Endangered Species Act Protects People and Nature”