“Ducey sued the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Reclamation,” the Center for Biological Diversity said last month, “after the agencies ordered him to remove double-stacked containers near Yuma and abandon plans to deploy them in the Coronado National Forest in Cochise County. That work continues along roughly 10 miles of the borderlands, including across the last remaining wildlife corridors used by jaguars and ocelots, animals that are federally protected under the Endangered Species Act.”
Photos provided by Ducey’s office to the Associated Press—like the photograph used for this diary—appear to depict shipping containers more neatly lined up along flatter ground. But that doesn’t exactly work along the rougher terrain making up the borderlands, leading the state to crudely fill in gaps between containers, as documented below by border journalist Melissa del Bosque. The combination of containers and metal leave no room for animals to pass through.
“In 20 years of reporting on the US-Mexico border this is one of the most destructive, truly damaging and wasteful things I've ever seen, which is really saying something,” she wrote in one tweet. “This will cost $100 million, keep nobody out & forever harm endangered ocelots, jaguars and other species,” she continued.
“Ducey’s breaking the law and jeopardizing the spectacular animals that roam the borderlands, just to score political points,” Center for Biological Diversity co-founder Robin Silver said last month. “We won’t allow him to trash the Sonoran Desert and public lands with thousands of shipping containers that won’t do a thing to prevent people or drugs from crossing the border.”
The organization announced at that time that it was seeking to join Ducey’s lawsuit as a defendant. The Arizona Republic said the center recently won that permission.
“Beyond jeopardizing wildlife, endangered species and public lands, the U.S.-Mexico border wall is part of a larger strategy of ongoing border militarization that damages human rights, civil liberties, native lands, local businesses and international relations,” the Center for Biological Diversity continued in its November statement. “The border wall impedes the natural movement of wildlife that are essential to healthy biodiversity and ecosystems.”
The organization is no stranger to border wall opposition, suing the previous administration over its failure to examine negative environmental impacts in its quest to build wall that Mexico never did pay for.
Ducey is in his final days as Arizona governor. He will be succeeded by Democrat Katie Hobbs, who defeated Big Lie pusher Kari Lake last month. If one governor can put up the structure, presumably the next could tear it down, and that’s exactly what Hobbs previously said she would do if elected to the office. “These kinds of things are just political stunts that are not really solving issues at the border,” Hobbs said last month in remarks reported by local affiliate KYMA. Lake, meanwhile, had promised to keep it up.
Since winning the election, activists have been “watching closely” to see what a Hobbs administration will do, Fronteras reports. If the containers do begin to come down soon after the Democrat takes office, we shouldn’t be shocked or surprised if Republicans sue, as they have done when it comes to immigration policy after immigration policy by the Biden administration. Hobbs would be entirely within her right to take down this junk. But all Republicans need is one sympathetic, anti-immigrant judge to stall the plans. Here’s to hoping it doesn’t get to that.
“Ducey’s lawlessness is matched only by his contempt for the natural world and other humans, especially people of color,” Silver continued in the statement last month. “This is a pathetic way for the Arizona governor to spend his final weeks in office.”
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