Saturday, August 10, 2019

Tell your members of Congress: No wall on the San Pedro River

Act now! Construction is imminent. It’s not too late to stop this wall. Contact your congressional members NOW. Time is of the essence.

“The San Pedro harbors the richest, most dense and diverse inland bird population in the United States as well—385 species... For millions of migratory birds traveling from winter food in Central America to their northern breeding grounds, there is just one reliable passage. Just this one.” (excerpt from Barbara Kingsolver’s “Patience of a Saint”)

Scott Feldhausen, BLM Gila District Manager, in a July 3, 2019 letter to Paul Enriquez, Customs and Border Protection, Washington, D.C. writes, “This extreme flow regime, coupled with the seasonal variability of summer monsoons, make installation of permanent, yet permeable barriers, an engineering challenge… Currently, seasonable removal of the “normandy-styled” vehicular barriers has allowed the San Pedro River to maintain natural processes…” “Floods come down like rolling loads of cement.” (The Secret Knowledge of Water by C. Childs)

Potentially Catastrophic Border Wall Impacts:

 • Bulldozers, graders, back-hoes, chainsaws and the like are expected to begin as early as this month (August, 2019).
• Bulldozing native vegetation for 150ft “enforcement zone” on both sides of the wall will scar the land destroying habitat and visual aesthetics. Construction of 30ft concrete-filled, impermeable steel pedestrian barrier with 24 hour lighting, 31/2 football fields long with imbedded cameras.All this within this irreplaceable riparian ecosystem.
• High velocity flood flows – 8400 cfs (cubic feet/sec) = 62,836 gallons of water/sec with accumulation of tree debris and sediment creating a “dam” that can rise above the barrier, causing damage and potentially harming infrastructure downstream.
 • River bank destabilization coupled with increased erosion causing loss of vegetation, impacting the health and stability of the riparian area • Disruption of primary migratory wildlife corridor; threatened and endangered animals need these areas for movement across the border; jaguar, ocelot, jaguarundi, Mexican Gray Wolf, Mexican Spotted Owl, Mexican Long-nosed Bat and others. The wall will impede or inhibit the survival of these threatened animals.
• In 1995 the American Bird Conservancy recognized the San Pedro as its first Globally Important Bird Area. The Area features 300 migratory birds, 100 species of breeding birds, 200 species of butterflies, 87 species of mammals, 65 species of reptiles and amphibians, and native fish.
• “The river corridor supports 2/3 of the avian diversity of the entire United States...” (R. J. Luce, River of Life, San Pedro Anthology, 2019)
• In excess of 23,000 people visited the San Pedro House and Fairbanks Schoolhouse (a historical location within the riparian area) in FY2018 contributing over $300,000 to the local economy. We cannot afford to impact a critical migratory flyway and river corridor, compromising its pristine beauty and discouraging potential revenue from thousands of visitors each year.

The San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area (SPRNCA)

The San Pedro River is the last free flowing desert river in the southwest. SPRNCA was the first conservation area of its kind in our country designated by Congress on Nov 18, 1988 by Public Law 100-696:“In order to protect the riparian areas and the aquatic, wildlife, archaeological, paleontological, scientific, cultural, educational, and recreational resources of the public lands surrounding the San Pedro River in Cochise County, Arizona...” - Legal Hurdles

No environmental, archaeological or historic preservation laws apply (federal, state or local). In 2005, Congress passed the REAL ID Act granting the Secretary of Homeland Security the authority to waive any and all laws with regard to constructing walls and roads along the border. Several public interest groups are in federal court in the District of Columbia right now asking for a preliminary injunction that would halt construction activity in the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area.


1. Senator Krysten Sinema, Office: 3333 E. Camelback Rd. Suite 200, Phoenix, AZ 85016, email:, phone: 602.598.7327 She is on the Senate Homeland Security Committee 

2. Senator Martha McSally, Office: 407 W. Congress St., Suite 103, Tucson, AZ 85701email:, phone:520.670.6334

3. U.S. Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick, Sierra Vista Office: 77 Calle Portal, Suite B160, Sierra Vista, AZ 85635, phone: 520.459.3115, Tucson Office: 1636 North Swan Rd. Suite 200, Tucson, AZ 85712, phone: 520.881.3588, email:

4. U.S. Congressman Raul Grijalva, Office: El Pueblo Community Center, 101 W. Irvington Rd. Buildings 4 and 5 Tucson, AZ 85714, email:, phone: 520.622.6788 Chair, House Natural Resources Committee – jurisdiction over all public lands.

Conserve, Protect and Enhance • Page 2 • created by, 8/2019


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