SWEC: South Texas wildlife refuge is ground zero for border wall fight

January 12, 2018



Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge Threatened

If Congress appropriates money for Trump’s border wall, the first place likely to see construction is the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge in the lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas, home to more species of birds and butterflies than anywhere in the U.S., as well as endangered ocelots and jaguarundis. Santa Ana is targeted because it is federal land, unlike most of the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas, so the government won’t have to bother condemning the land first.  SWEC will travel to south Texas to join other wall opponents for a rally on Saturday, 1/27 to call attention to the threat and celebrate the refuge’s 75th anniversary. Read more here.

SWEC is hiring: Field Organizer

We are looking for a half-time Field Organizer to lead our campaign to protect New Mexico’s Otero Mesa. This is a great job for someone who is passionate about wildlife and social change. Click here for full job announcement.

SWEC Internships available

SWEC is currently accepting applications for the following internships:

  • Conservation Policy: Desert Lands and Wildlife
  • Ecological Restoration
  • Conservation Education and Outreach
  • Conservation Communications

A minimum commitment of 12 hours per week for 3 months is required. Visit our website for more details.

Upcoming Events

The Last Desert Grassland: Protecting New Mexico’s Otero Mesa—A talk by Kevin Bixby, SWEC Executive Director.  Thursday, 1/18, 5:30 pm, in El Paso. Part of the El Paso Community Foundation’s quarterly Cultivate Forum. More info here.

Peaceful Gila Skies: Join the community discussion on the proposed Holloman Air Force Base expansion of its low level F-16 fighter jet training over the Gila National Forest. Tuesday, 1/16, 6:30 pm in Silver City, NM. More info here.

Droughts, Floods, Freezes: The Role of Climate in the  Human History of the American Southwest. A talk by Dr. Carla Van West, Saturday, 1/20, 7 pm in Las Cruces. Sponsored by HSR, Inc. Call (575) 524-9456 for more info.

New Art Show at SWEC

My Earth, an exhibition by the “10 am” artist group is featured through January at SWEC’s Cottonwood Gallery. The show reflects what the term “My Earth” means to each artist. Works by Penny Duncklee, Susie Castaneda Huck, Kathleen Deasey and others.

Here’s what we’re up against

Climate change doesn’t just affect humans. Hundreds of flying foxes (bats) died last week in Australia due to unprecedented searing heat, according to the Guardian. Temperatures near Sydney reached 117 degrees (F), the hottest temperatures recorded in 80 years. Another reason why we keep fighting.

Thank you for your support!


Not a member? Please join us! We speak for wildlife and wild places. We work to protect and restore vital habitats, like Otero Mesa, and endangered species, like the Mexican Gray Wolf. We’ve had more than 20 years of success and we cannot do it without our members. So please join us today by making a secure online donation! Call 575-522-5552 or contact info@wildmesquite.orgfor more info.

Southwest Environmental Center
275 N. Main
Las Cruces, NM 88001
United States



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