Is it a coincidence that a president who lives in Manhattan thinks we need to spend public money building a 30-foot-high wall where nature already built a 1,000-foot-high mountain canyon?
A combination of ranchers and landowners represented by the conservative Texas Wildlife Association are speaking out against the construction of a large section of proposed border wall between the United States and Mexico.
The section in question would stretch about 151 miles with a height of about 30 feet in an area known as Big Bend.
David Yates, the Chief Executive of the TWA (and a rancher/banker) spoke to the Star-Telegram of Forth Worth, TX. “We just see so many problems,” Yates said. In addition to the obvious loss of private property through imminent domain, Yates said the wall would “interrupt landowner/livestock/wildlife access to water from the Rio Grande, harm property values, and impair critical wildlife movement corridors for species such as black bears, mountain lions, white-tailed and mule deer, and desert bighorn sheep, among others.”
Santa Elena Canyon along the Rio Grande frames the Chisos Mountains at sunset. Ralph Lauer Star-Telegram archives
Yates also points out that because of costs, avoidance of flood plains, and other circumstances, much of the wall would be built as far in-state as one mile, “leaving homes, ranchland, watering holes, golf courses, nature preserves and anything along the river stranded past a Border Patrol gate. If you take away access to the Rio Grande, you take away the water for 50,000 acres of irrigated farmland, not to mention the drinking water for cattle and migratory path for wildlife.”
The Star-Telegram goes on to quote a Texas wildlife biologist who calls the wall, “ill-conceived.”