As we gather in our homes to protect our community from COVID-19, the federal government is accelerating environmental destruction on our southern border. Last week, Custom and Border Patrol officials announced plans to construct an additional 74 miles of border wall in Arizona through the heart of the Sky Island region. These new walls will be 30-feet high and built out of steel bollards that are 6-inches wide. Not only will this construction wall off the southern boundaries of Coronado National Forest and Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge, but they will stop migrating wildlife in their tracks.
The new construction will occur without environmental study, review, or mitigation as the federal government has issued dozens of new waivers that negate environmental laws. The border wall when built will collapse jaguar recovery in the U.S., blocking all known sections of the path of jaguar from Mexico.
Sky Island Alliance is dedicated to the conservation of the diversity of life and lands directly threatened by this border wall construction. We are dedicating our staff to amplify efforts to document the Path of Jaguar and other species in the borderlands so that we can advocate for conservation in this time of crisis and use science to guide how we will protect and ultimately restore wildlife pathways in the future.
We will be sharing more about our new border wildlife study in the coming days, stay tuned.