Thursday, January 10, 2019
The political boundary between the US and Mexico stretches 2,000 miles from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean. Along the way, there are three mountain chains, the two largest deserts in North America, vast cattle ranches, a handful of cities and their sprawling suburbs, and the Southern section of the mighty Rio Grande river. Much of the region has never been heavily populated, and over the years, several large swaths of land have been designated as protected areas. Today there are 25 million acres of protected US public lands within 100 miles of the line. That includes six wildlife refuges, six national parks, tribal lands, wilderness areas, and conservation areas -- all of them managed by various federal agencies and tribal governments.
Walls and levee walls in this region could also pose a serious flooding hazard, says Millis. "They are particularly problematic because they would be the first walls built inside the Rio Grande floodplain, and thus are likely to cause floods in the populated areas where they are planned," he says.
Based on research, leading groups like the Sierra Club, the Center for Biological Diversity, and Defenders of Wildlife have strongly recommended against any further construction of fences on the border.
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