Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offense.
~Robert Frost, Mending Wall
On my way home from work, I often listen to All Things Considered.
Today, there was a story on the impact of the proposed border wall
along the Rio Grande, just one of the many tentacles of the immigration
debate that has been consuming national attention this week (when we've
not been busy engaging in Paris Hilton-related schadenfreude).
The wall will travel through 2 of the 3 national wildlife refuges in
South Texas. Among the likely casualties? An endangered subspecies
of ocelot - fewer than 100 remain - who roam back and forth across
the Rio Grande. Any conservation biologist will tell you that the
fragmentation of habitat is a major concern for all species, with its impact
magnified among those who are already vulnerable.
The environmental impact of physical barriers along our national borders
has not received much attention. Much of the coverage dates from last
October when the wall was approved (but not fully funded) in the US Congress.
- Time: Is Border security bad for nature?
- Birds, barriers, buffer zones
- Where was the environmental movement during the debate? (Note, the front pages of the Sierra Club and Audubon Society websites have nada about this issue, even now.)
- Indigenous peoples speak.
- Journal article: environmental impact.
- Population growth and the environment - this opens a can of worms....but is a good reminder that a well-rounded, systemic approach is healthy...
- Border walls put people and the environment at risk: Sierra Club