And this was a bit I hadn’t realized:
Trump Is Blowing Up a National Monument in Arizona to Make Way for the Border Wall
Contractors working for the Trump administration are blowing apart a mountain on protected lands in southern Arizona to make way for the president’s border wall. The blasting is happening on the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, a tract of Sonoran Desert wilderness long celebrated as one of the nation’s great ecological treasures, that holds profound spiritual significance to multiple Native American groups….
Celebrated as “a pristine example of an intact Sonoran Desert ecosystem,” Organ Pipe was designated as a UNESCO International Biosphere Reserve in 1976. Even before the explosions began, the construction there was already one of Trump’s most controversial border wall projects, unfolding on the homelands of the Tohono O’odham and in areas that are ostensibly safeguarded by the strictest public-land designations on the books….
But it’s been clear from the start that Trump does not care about the law, much less about the ecological systems we all rely on.
The expansion of the border wall under Trump has been made possible, in part, by a post-9/11 piece of legislation known as the Real ID Act, which grants DHS sweeping authority to waive existing laws in order to construct border barriers. The Trump administration has used the act to waive dozens of laws — from the Environmental Protection Act to the Endangered Species Act — in order to push through new border wall construction projects….