Bulldozers Destroy Iconic Cacti In Arizona To Make Way For Border Wall
The Trump administration is so hell-bent on building a useless and expensive wall along the southern border that it is engaged in wanton destruction of iconic saguaro and organ pipe cacti found in the pristine Sonoran Desert in Arizona.
The Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument is protected land, but President Donald Trump and his administration clearly don’t care because bulldozers are plowing over the cacti in the name of speed rather than taking the time to relocate them properly.
Despite an injunction issued by a judge in August to delay the destruction, the bulldozers tore through the Organ Pipe National Monument anyway, resulting in the loss of many cacti.
“Saguaros are being bulldozed for the #BorderWall in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument,” Center for Biological Diversity’s Laiken Jordahl wrote in a Twitter post featuring video of the bulldozer destroying rare cacti. “Trump’s reckless border hysteria is destroying our environment and killing the very species this national monument was designated to protect.”
Here’s the video via Twitter:
VIDEO: Saguaros are being bulldozed for the #BorderWall in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. Trump’s reckless border hysteria is destroying our environment and killing the very species this national monument was designated to protect.
— Laiken Jordahl (@LaikenJordahl) October 4, 2019
The senseless destruction of cacti horrified environmental advocates and conservationists, including National Parks Conservation Association’s Kevin Dahl, who expressed outrage during an interview with Newsweek.
“At that point, what they were doing was destruction, not construction,” Dahl said.
In remarks to Ecowatch, Jordahl noted that the Department of Homeland Security insists that they are relocating cacti as required by law. The problem is that this video blows that lie out of the water and it wouldn’t be the first time a government agency under Trump has blatantly lied to the public about its activities.
“We’re watching the destruction of Arizona’s most iconic species to make way for a useless border wall that most Arizonans oppose,” Jordahl wrote.
“The Department of Homeland Security says they’re relocating cacti, but the videos we shot at the construction site tell a very different story: one of flattened earth and total devastation,” Jordahl continued. “Even if they do relocate some specimens, any remediation will pale in comparison to the severe and lasting damage done by the wall, stadium lights and enforcement zone.”
Jordahl is correct that a majority of people in Arizona oppose the border wall. He is also right when he warns that such a wall will devastate the environment and ecosystem maintained by the national monument.
“So the wall that’s currently under construction is 30 feet tall it’s made up of a 6-foot wide steel bollards and they’re drilling 10 feet into the ground in order to set the foundation for this wall and will stretch for almost 50 miles,” Jordahl explained. “So that means any migrating wildlife will be completely unable to make it around this barrier.”
Again, the National Park Service and Border Patrol claims that the wall is accommodating animals, but these are more agencies that have been poisoned by Trump, so there is no reason to trust anything they say about his wall.
Adding further insult to injury, the wall is also destroying land that is sacred to indigenous peoples like the Tohono O’odham Nation.
“The Tohono O’odham [Nation], in their taxonomy of life saguaros, are very close to humans,” Dahl explained. “And you know, they have a majestic presence, they are the iconic symbol of this part of the world. You know you’re someplace different when you’re in a saguaro forest.”
Now when people visit this sacred area, they will see destruction, and soon, an ugly wall that will slowly destroy the ecosystem over time unless something is done to prevent the wall from being built before it is too late. Regardless, even if the wall is not built, the damage has already been done and the national monument will never be the same.
Featured Image: Wikimedia