Tag Archives: border wall

Congressional Push to Gut Environmental Protections Along US Borders

18 Sep

TUCSON, AZ. Under the guise of border security, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) offered an amendment to the Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill today that would grant border-enforcement agencies free rein on federal lands within 300 miles of the US-Mexico border. After criticism from colleagues in his own party that the 300-mile limit went far beyond the scope of border-enforcement activities, McCain scaled it back to 100 miles, and the amendment was added to the bill.

“Politicians are playing games with important border-security legislation at the expense of laws that protect clean air, water and endangered species,” said Randy Serraglio, a conservation advocate at the Center for Biological Diversity. “This amendment is unnecessary, unwanted and threatens significant harm to the wildlife, natural landscapes and people of the border region.”

Border fences like this one in the Otay Mountain wilderness in California can prevent animal populations from interbreeding and dispersing. Photo: Scott Nicol

Read full press release from Center for Biological Diversity.

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A study conducted at The University of Texas at Austin earlier this year has shown some of the greatest vulnerability of wildlife in the borderlands.

“Our study is the first comprehensive analysis of threats to species across the entire U.S.-Mexico border,” says Jesse Lasky, a graduate student in the laboratory of Tim Keitt, associate professor of integrative biology. “The scale at which these fences stretch across the landscape is large, so it’s important for us to also have a large-scale view of their effects across the continent.”

Coues' Rice Rat and Reticulated Collared Lizard are both Texas threatened species. Coue's Rice Rat occurs in Texas at the edge of its range and has most of its border range occupied by areas of high human impact and pedestrian fences. Reticulated Collared Lizards were identified as a species that would be at risk if extensive barriers were built across its range in the future. Image: Jesse Lasky

Among the species at risk include four species listed as threatened globally or by both the US and Mexico, and another 23 with small range sizes. The animals include the Arroyo toad, the California red-legged frog and the jaguarundi.

The study by Lasky, Keitt and coauthor Walter Jetz, an associate professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Yale University, and appeared earlier this year in the online the journal Diversity and Distributions.

Earth First! means a world without borders

29 Apr

By an editor of the EF! Journal

Jaguar photographed in arizona

Solidarity with immigrants against borders is one of the most practical and relevant places for the biocentrist—deep ecologist, eco-anarchist, Earth First!er.. or whatever you may call yourself—to present our vision of the world beyond civilization. The border is not just a line between two places. Its a scar on the earth, and in our lives, where empire and ecocide have met. Millions of people in North America feels this environmental and social tragedy in a deep and direct way.

The reality of this has been close to home for us here at the Earth First! Journal/Newswire, from life in Arizona in the midst of the SB 1070 law and the militarized border lands, to our new office in the south, which is now embroiled in the battles surrounding anti-immigrant legislation. Georgia became the first state following the footsteps of Arizona’s “Papers Please” law—HB 87, they are only awaiting the Governor to sign it into law—and, despite mass opposition, Florida is not far behind, with SB 2040.

"We will not comply," blockade at Sheriff Arpaio's Maricopa County Jail in Arizona after SB1070 goes into effect, July 2010

Arbitrary borders divided by walls and high-tech surveillance are becoming one of the most drastic symbols of literal human division and disconnect from the wild world around them. The same principles of rewilding that apply to keeping healthy, biodiverse habitats also apply to the re-wilding the free spirit of our species. What borders walls do to the endangered Jaguar, immigration laws due to our own wild spirits.

The past two issues of the EF! Journal have run excellent articles on borders, immigration, biocentrism and ecological resistance. Check ‘em out below.. May they assist in fueling the flames of immigrant solidarity and rebellion.   For freedom of movement to all species!

The Capitol building in Tallahassee, Florida is occupied by immigrants, predominantly from indigenous campesino communities in Central America.

Razing Arizona: the ecological battle against borders (an overview of pro-immigrant, anti-border articles from the past 10 years of the EF! Journal. In Spanish and English.)

Borders & Bodies (a personal reflection from an EF! Journal editor of borders, colonization and empire from the Arizona border to the coasts of Florida.)

(Also, don’t miss the coming issue of the EF! Journal, this June, for a fresh new article on the Center for Biological Diversity’s effort to defend Jaguars from extinction in the US by the racist border wall.)

Check out news and video from the growing resistance in Florida.

Simultaneous protests for immigrant farmworker solidarity take also place this week. Here, at a grand opening of Grocery chain Public in Lake Worth, FL, new home to the Earth First! Journal.

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