Saturday, November 17, 2007

AZ Wildlife Refuge border wall has many critics

The only animals border walls won't block are humans

TUCSON -- I'm in an important story today on the unwise and rushed Sasabe/Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge border wall.

"The Real ID act is a big threat, and DHS wields that like a club," said Patterson, an ecologist.

The Real ID legal exemption must be repealed. Rep. Grijalva has a solution bill here that Rep. Giffords, Mitchell and others should support.

Check out this slideshow.

1 comment:

Ron Kearns said...

Thank you for posting this important article and for your efforts to expose the secrecy and what I consider a corrupt decision making process. Wildlife managers and administrators are very well paid to make hard decisions and the current USFWS Region 2, Regional Office staff in Albuquerque acquiesced to political power at the expense of wildlife and wild lands of Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge. Unfortunately, in state and federal governments, no punishment is afforded public servants who make poor and/or illegal decisions through secrecy and backroom deals. Had the exposition of all the facts received the fair, open, public process they deserved, then all the errors of this ill-conceived fence would have been revealed. Open government is critical and not ensuring the ‘sunshine’ of governmental decisions and actions result with corrupted policy and actions, such as the border fence. There are also state Sunshine Laws and the federal Freedom of Information Act for valid reasons, but those important provisions are after-the-fact damage control and less effective if citizens do not follow up and require that similar actions are not repeated and that the decision makers receive some form of castigation for their wrongheadedness.

Mr. Matt Clark and the Defenders of Wildlife deserve commendation for their efforts to oppose the border fence. From all indications, Mr. Mitch Ellis, as then BANWR manager, did everything possible, after rescinding his Compatibility Determination (CD), to prevent the fence across the southern boundary of the refuge. There are valid legitimate reasons to approve public works projects across refuge lands through the CD and other processes, but the fence was definitely not in that category.

The slideshow should receive a very wide audience.