Saturday, May 03, 2008

The Border Wall

For reasons I don't fully understand, the US Government is planning to build a wall between Mexico and the United States. This is not news to most of us . . . But, have we really thought out what this means in reality in the State of Texas . . . Our border is a river - think floods, think a dam and a lake, think estuaries near the coast. Plus in the Valley Area of Texas, there has been a lot of habitat restoration along the river. BIrders know that the Valley of Texas is an important ecological area. I've been fortunate to spend time twice in the Valley exploring the bird watching opportunities. There are a large number of species that are only found in the United States in the Valley. I've been birding with people who have come from Europe to see the birds here. Birders provide a lot of income to the valley. There has been a lot of money spent over the last 20 years restoring natural habitat along the river. This will all be bulldozed. Many migratory birds stop and rest in the valley and the Texas coastal areas.

In addition, all of the environmental studies about the effect of this construction that would normally be required for this type of work are going to be by passed. So, wonderful things will be destroyed and damaged that will take years to replace once we decide that the wall did not work.

And a wall along a river will be expensive - what a way to waste taxpayer money when our national deficit is at an all time high!

The Wall will disrupt all of that, destroy some beautiful areas. And the people who are determined to cross the Texas border will still find a way to get across.

I found this posting at TexBirds. I hope it is OK to post this from TEXBIRDS, but this is a very important issue. So I want to get the word out. It is very important to send written testimonies to fight the building of this wall. Here is the information as to how and where to write. Send your letters this week, the deadline is May 16th.

From TexBirds:

Hi Everyone,

This past Monday, there was a US Congressional field hearing in Brownsville on the border wall. Written testimonies can now be submitted in association with this hearing and added to the Congressional record. This is one of the best opportunities yet we have had for our voices to be heard. Please pass the word on to others who might be interested, and let me know if you need more info.

Thanks, Betty

Here are the guidelines for written submissions to the U.S.Congressional field hearing record. They need to be in by Friday, May 16th.

1. Head your comments with the hearing name and date: Walls and Waivers: Expedited Construction of the Southern Border Wall and the Collateral Impacts on Communities and the Environment, April 29, 2008.

2. Do not exceed 10 pages.

3. No cover page is needed, although your name, title, and the organization that you represent (if you have one), should also be stated at the beginning of your testimony.

4. Please use typed single-space letter-size (8½ x 11) white paper.

5. Send via the postal service as they are not equipped to handle mass amounts of e-mail. The mailing address is:

Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife and Oceans
Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands
1324 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

6. If you submit attachments or exhibits to your testimony please include them as separate items at the end of your testimony. If attachments are more than 10 pages (in addition to your original testimony) or on paper larger than 8½ x 11, they will not be accepted for printing in the Congressional record. Instead, you should paraphrase or quote as needed. If including charts, tables, maps, or photographs, they should be included on separate pages, not within the text of a page.

7. THINGS TO AVOID: Underlining, footnotes, capitalization of the whole document or solid blocks of text.

Wayne Bartholomew
Executive Director
Frontera Audubon Society
Weslaco, Texas

1 comment:


Thanks for passing this information along. It is critically important that everyone who cares about the environment or communities along the border submit comments. Our silence on this issue allows the hot, hate-filled air of the pro-wall people to fuel the debate. Politicians are afraid that they will suffer backlash at the polls if they do the responsible thing and repeal section 102 of the Real ID Act and the Secure Fence Act. If we make our voices heard it will embolden them, and our borderlands may yet be saved.