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The Environmental Consequences of the Arizona Border Wall

A segment of the planned U.S.-Mexico border wall would cut across the San Pedro River and threaten the area’s wildlife and plants.
January 14, 2020, 9am PST | Camille Fink
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Katja Schulz

The federal government plans to build a border across the San Pedro River in the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area in Arizona. The construction would involve cutting down Freemont cottonwood trees, which residents and experts say are integral to the ecology of the area.

"The cottonwoods not only provide bank stabilization and shade, but safe harbor for the millions of birds which pass through the desert oasis on their annual migrations," writes Shar Porier. A wall would also stop the flow of the river, cause debris backups, and keep wildlife from crossing. 

"The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is charged with the preservation of the SPRNCA which relies on the river and currently awaits a court ruling on a claim for water rights its scientists say is necessary to maintain the 57,000 acre national conservation area and its threatened and endangered species," notes Porier.

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Published on Saturday, January 4, 2020 in Herald/Review
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