President Trump contends that an environmental review of his ill-advised and ecologically disastrous proposal for a wall along the U.S.–Mexico border (and through a national wildlife refuge) is unnecessary, despite a pending lawsuit to the contrary. The administration intends to invoke a 2005 counterterrorism law, known as REAL ID, which would give the Department of Homeland Security the authority to waive environmental impact studies in the name of national security. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife found last year that construction of the wall—involving habitat destruction, noise, and truck traffic—would threaten more than 100 species, such as the endangered ocelot and jaguarundi, and the wall itself would cut off wildlife-migration routes. Among the first casualties would be the biodiversity of the Santa Ana Wildlife Refuge in Texas, where engineering preparations are already underway. Wildlife officials say the wall would “essentially destroy” this crown jewel of the national wildlife refuge system.
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Latest NewsWestJason Bittel
One of the world’s largest cats prowls the American Southwest—and almost no one knows it’s there.
Latest NewsUnited StatesClara Chaisson
Another reason to oppose President Trump’s proposed border wall with Mexico: It would be devastating for wildlife.