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Borderlands Exhibit Looks at "Wildlife Divided"

June 19, 2009

Las Cruces - It's a little tougher to make a run for the border these days - not just for humans, but for the wildlife that calls the borderland home. That's the reality since the recent construction of the controversial southern border fence, and it's also the subject of a traveling photo exhibit now on display in New Mexico.

Kevin Bixby directs the Southwest Environmental Center in Las Cruces, which is hosting the show, and he says the fence has had a devastating effect on many of the species of wildlife that need to get from one side to the other.

"They must migrate across this area in order to have access to water, food, mates and all the resources they need to survive."

The exhibit is meant to connect people to the borderlands landscape and communities, says Bixby.

"The purpose was to document the natural biodiversity and beauty of the landscape and its inhabitants, as well as to photograph the border wall and related roads, infrastructure and the impact they are having on the region."

The exhibition includes photos of a little-known bison herd that lives along the border in the New Mexico's "bootheel."
The exhibit, entitled Continental Divide — Borderlands Wildlife, People and the Wall, features photos by the International League of Conservation Photographers. A reception will be held Friday night, from 6:30 to 8:30, at the Southwest Environmental Center in Las Cruces and is open to the public.

The Secure Fence Act, passed by Congress in 2006, mandated the construction of 670 miles of pedestrian and vehicle barriers dividing the U.S. from Mexico. With 630 miles completed, the border wall remains highly controversial.

Eric Mack, Public News Service - NM