“And when Trump is gone, we’ll tear it all down.”

More from Laiken Jordahl, reporting from the border:

Trump’s wall is destroying the environment activists are protecting

Imagine dedicating your entire life to protecting a place. Then imagine watching everything you’ve worked to protect be bulldozed by a desperate, self-serving president.

That’s what’s happening right now to career scientists and conservationists at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument on Arizona’s border with Mexico.

I used to work there too. It breaks my heart.

Organ Pipe, a sprawling 500-square-mile wilderness area home to the best preserved Sonoran Desert ecosystem on the planet, is being butchered by President Trump’s border wall….

The wall is destroying the fragile ecosystem park service scientists have dedicated their lives to protect. It will stop migrating wildlife in their tracks, preventing animals like desert bighorn sheep, Sonoran pronghorn and even cactus ferruginous pygmy owls — which rarely fly higher than 12 feet — from finding water, food and mates.

It will cause flooding and soil erosion, sully Organ Pipe’s spectacular dark night skies with blinding floodlights and destroy a huge swath of habitat to create a 60-foot dead-zone that Border Patrol will pave with a patrol road and stake with sensors.

It will destroy indigenous sacred sites and burial grounds. At least 20 archeological sites will be destroyed. Construction crews have already unearthed human remains….

Picture is of Organ Pipe National Monument, by the National Park Service. Read the whole thing, with more pictures by Jordahl.


Actually, that’s one billion animals killed

And even those who survive may have no habitat to return to. From the Washington Post:

A billion animals have been caught in Australia’s fires. Some may go extinct.

Some of the rarest species on Earth are threatened by fires scorching their habitats, scientists warn.

…More than 1 billion mammals, birds and reptiles nationwide — some of them found nowhere else on Earth — may have been affected or killed by the fires sweeping across Australia, according to a University of Sydney estimate. The potential toll is far greater when other types of animals are included.

“We’re not just talking about koalas — we’re talking mammals, birds, plants, fungi, insects, other invertebrates, amphibians, and bacteria and microorganisms that are critical to these systems,” said Manu Saunders, a research fellow and insect ecologist at the University of New England in Armidale.

Individual animals might survive, but when their habitat is gone, “it doesn’t matter,” Saunders said. “They’ll die anyway.”…


All the best


Trump is destroying Organ Pipe National Monument

From folks on the ground:

I lived in Tucson for a decade, and spent much time in the Sonoran Desert and the nearby mountains. This is sacred land, and it will not recover. Follow Laiken Jordahl on Twitter for more.