Saturday, September 01, 2007

Let it rain

Can't find a link to it on the web, but DL has it on good authority that there has been an environmental assessment and a "Finding of No Significant Impact" issued for the border wall along the already-beleaguered San Pedro River. We have heard that there were four alternatives considered, the first being the Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) and the Border Patrol proposal to "pedestrian fence" the entire stretch from the river bank to Douglas, Arizona, a total of 31 miles. Mind you, BLM doesn't manage this entire stretch, so the EA only considered the small piece under the BLM jurisdiction.

BLM, in a risky concession to wildlife, decided to let them build the wall, but to only allow for vehicle barriers in the wet and dry riparian areas, since everyone knows that the first flood event is likely to wipe out any wall anyway. We suppose this is better than the ACOE proposal to wall the whole thing. Or much, much worse for wildlife than nothing, which was one of the alternatives considered. (The remaining alternative was to only build vehicle barriers, which had reportedly worked quite well in other lands along the border.)

The reason that this is a risky concession is that the Department of Homeland Security can simply take the BLM's decision and determine that it is interfering with the "expeditious construction of the barriers," and waive NEPA under the Real ID Act. Same is true for any lawsuit or appeal of the Decision- mess with DHS and they will surely mess with you. The concerted effort of the current administration to remove the power from the people is terrifying.

There is another way, and we remind you of the Grijalva legislation introduced a few months ago. Call your senators. Write op-eds. Jump up and down. But please, don't just sit there. This is the San Pedro River- beloved biological gem, the last free-flowing river in Arizona, the second most diverse place for mammals in North America.

1 comment:

NoBorderWall said...

Many people along the border are writing our politicians and trying to make our voices heard. The border walls called for by the Secure Fence Act will tear through border communities and sensitive habitat alike, and in the cases of the Sonoran pronghorn and the ocelot will drive species to extinction in the United States. One group has gathered under the name No Border Wall, and can be found at www.notexasborderwall.com and www.notexasborderwall.blogspot.com . We are opposed to the walls that will be built all along the border - Texas was included in the domain name because noborderwall had already been snatched up. Because the Secure Fence Act and Real ID Act are federal laws it is vital that people from all 50 states, not just those on the border, contact their Representatives and Senators and urge them to oppose the construction of a wall that the Border Patrol has repeatedly said will only slow a crosser down by 5 minutes. For what is effectively a speed bump we should not sacrifice the last remnants of wilderness in the southern United States.