Monday, December 5, 2022


A Louisiana Public Service Commission runoff could affect energy policy, LGBTQ advocates await final passage of the Respect for Marriage Act, and democracy gets a voter-approved overhaul in Oregon.


An election law theory critics say could cause chaos is before the Supreme Court, lawmakers condemn former President Trump's idea to suspend the Constitution, and Democrats switch up the presidential primary calendar.


The first-ever "trout-safe" certification goes to an Idaho fish farm, the Healthy Housing Initiative helps improve rural communities' livability, and if Oklahoma is calling to you, a new database makes it easier for buyers and builders to find available lots.

Border-Wall Project Could Block San Pedro River


Wednesday, July 8, 2020   

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Conservation groups say the federal government is building a stretch of the border wall that could block the San Pedro River, where it flows north from Mexico into Arizona.

The San Pedro is the last free-flowing stream in the Sonoran Desert, and the groups have said plans to extend the 30-foot-high steel barrier could damage sensitive riparian areas and cut off critical migration routes for endangered species.

Robin Silver, co-founder of the Center for Biological Diversity, called the project "ill-advised" and said that, while the riverbed currently is dry, construction is starting during Arizona's rainy season.

"As soon as the monsoons start, that river literally goes from zero to a mile wide; huge amounts of force," he said. "The fact that you would try to put a structure across there just speaks to the insanity of what they're doing."

Groups including the Sierra Club, Center for Biological Diversity and others have sued the federal government several times to stop construction, and even won a judgment to block the project's funding. However, building continues as that ruling is on appeal.

Stakeholders only recently were notified about the plans to place steel posts known as bollards across the river with gates to allow the water to flow. But Laiken Jordhal, a borderlands campaigner for the Center for Biological Diversity, said the river is the only remaining animal-migration route between Arizona and Mexico.

"We know that this corridor has been used by myriad species of wildlife, likely including jaguars and ocelots," he said. "I've seen the tracks of kit foxes, coyotes, javelina in the riverbed. So, it's not speculation when we say this will stop wildlife migration."

Dan Millis, borderlands program manager for the Sierra Club's Grand Canyon Chapter, said the government's contractor, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency, has been exempted by the Trump administration from most laws and regulations that normally would apply.

"Whether you care about wildlife, whether you care about religious freedom or Native American graves, all of these laws have been waived," he said. "And so, the protections don't apply. We in the border region do not get equal protection under the law."

The San Pedro crossing is part of a 63-mile border-wall project in the Tucson Sector. Customs officials have said they've built 38 miles so far, and expect to complete the project by the end of this year.

get more stories like this via email

Small cell facilities are often attached to utility poles within the public right-of-way. (Oxford Science/Wikimedia Commons)

Social Issues

Thousands of wireless transmitters could pop up across unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County in the next few years if the Board of Supervisors ap…

Health and Wellness

As winter looms in Missouri, health officials are expressing concern over the potential for three viruses to impact facilities. This season has …

Social Issues

Research says 80% of community-college students intend to transfer to complete a bachelor's degree, but only 14% do so within six years. …

Around 21 million American children receive free or reduced-price lunch at school, but only half of them receive free breakfast despite being eligible, according to New Hampshire Hunger Solutions. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Advocates for children say up to 7,000 students in New Hampshire public schools are going hungry following the rejection of a federal program for low-…

Social Issues

By Carrie Baker for Ms. Magazine.Broadcast version by Roz Brown for Texas News Service reporting for the Ms. Magazine-Public News Service …

A caucus is not an election; it's a political party gathering in which party members choose candidates for an election. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

For the first time in almost 50 years, Iowa will not hold the first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses for Democrats. The national party has ousted …

Health and Wellness

Nebraska is one of a dozen states experiencing "very high" levels of influenza, and the highest percentage of cases has been in children and young …

Social Issues

Indigenous activists in the Commonwealth are calling on state lawmakers to pass legislation to strengthen protections for Native American remains…


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021