Monday, September 27, 2021


The House could vote this week on the Build Back Better infrastructure bill, which contains resources to fight climate change, and the NTSB investigates an Amtrak derailment in north-central Montana.


A government shutdown looms as the Senate prepares to vote on the debt ceiling, former President Trump holds a rally in Georgia, the U.S. reopens a Texas border crossing, and an Amtrak train crash kills three in Montana.


A new Oklahoma museum honors tribal nations, while Iowa's history is back on the blacktop; mixed news on COVID-19 comes with a warning about unconventional drugs; and electric cars and buses are coming to rural America.

Biden to Decide Future of Trump's Border Wall


Monday, November 16, 2020   

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- President-elect Joe Biden has said there will not be another foot of wall constructed along the border between the U-S and Mexico when he takes office in January.

Bryan Bird with Defenders of Wildlife says that will be a change for the better for animal migration at the border and for intercontinental wildlife known to move back and forth from the U-S to Mexico in search of resources and habitat. He says the Trump administration hasn't built a lot of new border wall, but has instead replaced roughly 400 miles of vehicle barriers.

"They were able to replace a lot of vehicle barriers with impenetrable pedestrian barriers, which are terrible for wildlife," Bird asserted. "So, there has been enormous damage done to the border, especially in Arizona and New Mexico."

Bird says previous barriers were only about four-feet high, and animals could pass under or over them, but new wall is 30-feet tall.

The Trump administration argued the wall border was needed to stop illegal immigration. Biden has said he'll make sure sure border protection is in place, but rather than a wall, high-tech capacity will be used at ports of entry.

Bird believes activists who worked hard to prevent construction of the wall will now begin a "tear down the wall" campaign.

But he's also concerned much more of the wall could be built before next year's presidential Inauguration on Jan. 20.

"Customs and Border Protection is furiously working to complete the impenetrable wall across our southern border," Bird observed. "They're working day and night, regardless of the coronavirus, to finish it."

Bird is optimistic the incoming administration will consider taking down part of the wall, not only where it's having negative impacts on wildlife, but also where Native American cultural sites have been destroyed during the wall's construction.

While Trump promised Mexico would pay for the wall, it has not. Instead, U.S. taxpayers have paid $15 billion dollars so far.

Disclosure: Defenders of Wildlife contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Endangered Species and Wildlife, Energy Policy, Environment, and Public Lands/Wilderness. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

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