Advocacy

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Sky Island Alliance is committed to land protection along the border to benefit local communities and help native plants and wildlife thrive. We advocate for policies that restore equal protection under the law and stop wall building, restore connectivity of wildlife pathways, improve water flow, and advance habitat recovery. This advocacy work happens as a member of a border coalition with dozens of environmental and humanitarian groups. We work together to champion local and national change for our borderlands through grassroots activism and federal policy. 

At Sky Island Alliance our top border priorities are to:  

  • Revoke the waiver authority enabled by the REAL ID Act of 2005 and reinstate federal laws at the border, including those protecting the environment and Native cultural resources. 
  • Rescind congressional funding for the border wall and related infrastructure. 
  • Authorize the transfer of border-mitigation funding from Homeland Security to land management agencies.  
  • Remove wall segments that threaten people and the environment and then restore areas that have been damaged. 
  • Stop land-condemnation proceedings for the border wall and associated infrastructure.  

Photo by Frank Staub-Lighthawk 

The Current Situation at the Border 

In Arizona restoration of land directly damaged by wall construction isn’t yet underway because U.S. Customs and Border Protection retains jurisdiction over the land, and federal funding isn’t yet available. According to the agency, remediation will begin in summer 2022 “to stabilize border infrastructure and habitat.” Unfortunately much needed habitat restoration isn’t yet scheduled for southeast Arizona’s public lands.  

In December 2021 Homeland Security authorized CBP to complete projects necessary to restore areas that included Arizona’s Tucson sector. Two weeks later the agency issued a formal plan for Pima, Cochise, and Santa Cruz counties. The plan proposed to take actions along the border that include closing small gaps in the wall, installing new culverts to aid drainage, reseeding construction sites, completing and repairing gates, and creating small holes in the wall for wildlife crossings.  

Our Latest Action 

In January 2022 Sky Island Alliance led an advocacy campaign to catalyze the public to provide comments to U.S. Customs and Border Protection on its flawed remediation plan. The agency received 810 comments in all, expressing overwhelming concern for our borderlands. 

Stay tuned for more ways you can take action. And check out the map below to see current gaps in the border wall and places we’ve identified for priority habitat restoration.   

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