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I recently made a brief scouting trip to Arizona’s Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument to see first hand the effects on wildlife and the environment of the 30′ tall steel walls being assembled along the border. It was profound, contrasting the barren strips of land near the new barriers with my time in the yet undisturbed desert a few miles away. There, I photographed stills and video of a hummingbird bathing at Quitobaquito Springs just yards from the boundary with Mexico and at dusk, surprised a bobcat hunkered down not far from an area where bulldozers are pending. 
In September 2019, ground was broken for 30′ walls on the Arizona border.  To expedite the process, dozens of environmental laws have been waived and swathes of habitat adjacent to the border bulldozed, creating habitat loss and blocking movement through wildlife corridors. The federally protected lands earmarked for these barriers include Arizona’s Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. Organ Pipe is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, a designation intended to protect the pristine Sonoran Desert ecosystem.


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