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Could Enviro Groups Block Trump’s Border Wall?

Could Enviro Groups Block Trump’s Border Wall?
April 17
10:02 2017

(PersonalLiberty) – Environmental groups are reportedly collaborating with government agencies to thwart border wall construction efforts. A substantial barrier in Arizona and New Mexico, they claim, would disturb endangered jaguar populations in the region.

That’s according to an investigation conducted by Judicial Watch.

Federal officials with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2012 began claiming that around 750,000 acres of land in Arizona and New Mexico should be designated under the Endangered Species Act as “critical habitat” for the big cats.

Arizona’s Game and Fish Department requested that the USFWS halt its efforts because “habitat essential to the conservation of the jaguar does not exist in either Arizona or New Mexico under any scientifically credible definition of that term.”

And, Judicial Watch pointed out, that’s a view shared by leading big cat researchers:

One of the world’s leading big cat experts, Dr. Alan Rabinowitz, confirms that less than one percent of the jaguar habitat in the world is in the United States and that there’s nothing about the lands in the southwest U.S. that make them critical to the continued survival of the jaguar as a species. The renowned wildlife ecologist heads a nonprofit devoted to the conservation of 38 wild cat species and their ecosystems. Jaguars are among them and two Arizona municipalities—the city of Sierra Vista and Cochise County—that will be heavily impacted by the proposed federal measure are citing Rabinowitz’s work to halt the problematic jaguar recovery plan. Rabinowitz refers to the federal plan as “little more than smoke and mirrors” that uses assumption and speculation as fact to justify “defining critical habitat in the Unites States for a species which simply does not live in the United States and has not resided there as a population for at least half a century.” Furthermore, Rabinowitz says the jaguar south of the border is doing quite well and has genetic connectivity through designated landscape corridors.

The USFWS has itself even declared as recently as 2006: “Because there are no areas or features essential to the conservation of the jaguar in the United States that meet the definition of critical habitat, designation of critical habitat for the jaguar is not beneficial.”

Urged on by open border advocates claiming a physical border disrupts all kinds of animal species, the federal government has persisted. Why? It’s simple, declaring large swaths of land protected territory under a federal law gives Washington bureaucrats more control over how land in the area may or may not be used. And with bureaucrats belonging to multiple federal agencies openly declaring plans to work against the Trump White House’s agenda, government leftists would now enjoy the added benefit of blocking one of the president’s biggest campaign promises.

Of course, arguments about the environmental impact of border fencing cut both ways– even within the same agency, apparently.

Newly released reports from the National Park Service and the USFWS support construction of a more substantial border barrier because the heavy amount of illegal traffic throughout the unsecured border wilderness comes with devastating environmental consequences.

The reports, uncovered via a Freedom of Information request from the Immigration Reform Law Institute, examined the environmental impact of illegal crossings at the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument and Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge.

“[T]he effects of these activities are visible throughout the monument. We have documented thousands of miles of unauthorized roads and trails. We also deal with trash, graffiti, abandoned vehicles, vandalism, invasive plants and animals, altered ecological processes and degraded habitats,” said one of the reports referencing illegal activity in and around the Organ Pipe Cactus Wilderness.

Border fencing, the report concedes, would drastically reduce the unauthorized traffic.

Could environmental groups block Trump’s border wall?

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