SWEC: Scientists say border wall is bad for wildlife

July 31, 2018

Scientists Warn Border Wall will Harm Biodiversity

Thousands of scientists expressed alarm this week at the expansion of the wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. A report in BioScience outlined the dangers of building a continuous and impermeable border wall, saying it would harm animals and plants in this sensitive region. The scientists cite bypassed environmental laws, habitat destruction, and losses to conservation and scientific research as the primary areas of concern. Read more here.

SWEC to Host National Summit on State Wildlife Governance

SWEC and Western Wildlife Conservancy are cohosting Wildlife for All: Re-envisioning State Wildlife Governance, the first ever national gathering to answer the question: how do we create the policies and institutions we need to protect all of our wildlife, for everybody, in every state, forever? The event will be held in Albuquerque on August 14-15. For wildlife advocates, one of the most significant barriers to wildlife conservation in the U.S. are structural problems with state wildlife management, including: politically-appointed wildlife commissions that are not responsive to the broad public interest in wildlife; policies that favor the production of game animals over other species; inadequate legal authority to protect all of a state’s wildlife; and the over-dependence of state wildlife agencies on funding sources tied to hunting and fishing that are flat or declining. Click here for more information and to register.

Climate Change, U.S. Foreign Policy and Immigration

Two seldom mentioned major drivers of immigration to the U.S. are climate change and the legacy of U.S. political intervention in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. Join SWEC executive director and radio show host Kevin Bixby on the August 7 edition of Earth Matters as he talks with writer Todd Miller and border researcher Molly Molloy about the links between environment, foreign policy and immigration. Miller is the author of Storming the Wall: Climate Change, Immigration and Homeland Security–winner of the Izzy Award for excellence in investigative journalism. Malloy is a research librarian for Latin America and the border at New Mexico State University and the creator of the Frontera List. The show will air simultaneously at 10 am on KTAL-LP, 101. 5 in Las Cruces, and on KURU 89.1 in Silver City. It will also be streamed on the internet, and rebroadcast on both stations at various times. Tune in!

Get Ready…Otero Mesa in the Crosshairs Again!

SWEC has just learned that the Bureau of Land Management intends to release a new plan for oil and gas leasing of New Mexico’s Otero Mesa in October. This is not good news, considering that the current administration has made fossil fuel development the top priority on federal public lands. We need everyone who cares about the wilderness, wildlife and cultural legacy of one of the largest desert grasslands in the U.S. to sign our petition and get ready to speak up for Otero Mesa when the time comes. To learn more contact Martha@wildmesquite.org and visit our Otero Mesa webpage.

Trail Cameras Capture Wildlife at Border

SWEC has installed 15 motion-triggered cameras along the border where 20 miles of new border wall is under construction. The goal of the project is to document wildlife in the area that is likely to be harmed by the wall. You can view early results here, including a bobcat “selfie” captured just a few feet from the borderline, before the wall was installed.

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