Nearly one-third of the 1,950 mile U.S./Mexico border lies within federal lands, including national parks, wilderness areas, national wildlife refuges, national forests, and national monuments.
Wildlife including jaguars, ocelot, bighorn sheep, Sonoran pronghorn, and hundreds of bird species, depend upon protected public lands along the border for intact habitat and survival. Unfortunately, Congress granted the Secretary of Homeland Security the right to waive all federal, state and local laws to build what is so far nearly 700 miles of wall and vehicle barriers across these lands. Fragile habitat has been destroyed, ecologically important water flows have been disrupted and wildlife corridors have been severed. Some in Congress continue to propose bills and amendments that would further undermine protection of border wildlife and wild lands.
Defenders of Wildlife works to educate decision-makers about the importance of protecting fragile borderland ecosystems and that our nation can protect our environment while still maintaining national security. We oppose legislation that would undermine protections for wildlife and lands along both the northern and southern borders under the guise of national security.