Sunday, November 15, 2009

In Silence Sunday

As I am breaking the week up into a set schedule for my posts
and delineated what topics I will cover or what I want to show
that I've been cooking, I thought it was essential that I designate
a day for the discussion of the plight of non-human animals and
the degradation of or planet. Since Sunday is usually a day off for
me and comes as a holy day for many, I thought it was natural
that I choose this day to open to you all issues that come up
in my week that I feel are particularly pertinent and I can set
a space of time to honor the non-human animal that suffer at the
hand of their fellow earthlings. It is important that we honor who
we fight for and we remain grounded remembering that we're
not alone. In a way, it is honouring the fallen and rediscovering
our passion for life.

Today I came home from a class debate meeting slightly disappointed
in our not covering an angle that I feel is very important.
Our debate is on the effect of illegal immigrant on the economic
and social well-being of the US. It is unfortunate that this narrowed
thesis doesn't seem to allow for a discussion of environmental
well being. Yet, we must acknowledge that without long-lasting
environmental sustainability, you will not have economic
or social well-being. The degradation of our land will not support
the perseverance of any species-- thats the bottom line.

So here is the issue that I was hoping we would be able to outline.
The traffic and discarding of waste by illegal immigrants traveling
up through the US-Mexican border is destroying Southwestern parks,
wildlife refuges, and natural habitats.

The increase in border control near by urban areas has pushed illegal
immigrants into environmentally fragile areas. It would only take
some forethought to protect these areas, as well as their borders.
The main areas that are being affected are the Organ Pipe Cactus
National Monument and the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge,
which span more than a million acres of natural desert wilderness and
house beautiful creatures such as the Sonoran pronghorn, jaguar,
desert bighorn sheep, Gila Monsters, tropical kingbirds, and desert
tortoise-- and damage inflicted on these areas and these species could
take decades to repair.

In July of 2009 video footage from hidden cameras was put out
showing hundreds of immigrants carving trails though sensitive lands,
leaving behind piles of trash, human waste, clothing, drugs, CARS (!),
and evidence of fires. These roads are destroying vegetarian, wildlife
habitat and force migratory animals to retreat. These immigrants
draw the attention of Border Patrol helicopters that can disturb wildlife
as well as off roading vehicles that damage sensitive regions. The
trash left behind can poison the soil and water, as well as affect natural

And what is the response to stop illegal immigrants tromping through
these precious wildness areas? Building huge fences and watch towers
across the borders. These fences are just as destructive to animal habitat
and wildlife patterns. This could be avoided by more innovative designs
for construction projects or more intelligent surveillance equipment
to improve security and reduce the need for fences, since all the fences
do is harm the animals-- they don't impede people. Partnerships could
be struck between environmental conservation groups and government
agencies to work together to protect these desert forests.

Now it has become a war in the government with opponents arguing
that once again environmentalists are impeding the progress of national
security. I read somewhere that there has at least been a decrease
in vehicles used by border control-- replaced by agents on horseback
in attempts to protect the natural wilderness.

If you watch the video (Created by a right wing group surprisingly),
you will be shocked by the disgusting disregard these people have
for this ecosystem. Trash and debris litters the trails in heaps. They
discard their belongings on the last part of the trek before taking off
in packed vehicles, led by coyotes (human traffickers).
Animals are shown frequenting these areas. As a hiker that religiously
abides the ultimate rule (leave only footprints), it makes me sick.

I'm not sure that I have a specific solution, but spreading the knowledge
is more important. Read more become aware.
And always write to your political representatives to make your views
and concerns known, even if they don't always read these things
what do you have to loose? A few minutes?

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