After a year of campaign rallies featuring inflammatory “Build the Wall” rhetoric, President Trump is pushing for massive new walls along the US-Mexico border at the expense of the American people.
In response, Rachel’s Network and the Sierra Club have partnered to draw the public’s attention to the landscapes and communities threatened by border walls, strengthen the coalition fighting these projects, and develop a legal strategy to resist further construction.
“Border walls are built without consideration for basic environmental protections like the Endangered Species Act and the Clean Water Act,” said the Sierra Club’s Borderlands Program Coordinator Dan Millis. “With Rachel’s Network’s help, we’re growing the opposition to both proposed and existing walls that have done so much damage to people and wildlife.”
After President George W. Bush signed the Secure Fence Act of 2006, more than 600 miles of steel and concrete walls and vehicle barriers were built along the border. Public interest organizations, municipalities, Native American tribes, and committed individuals responded by forming a coalition to better resist walls and other environmentally harmful border militarization.
Supported by a grant from Rachel’s Network members, the Sierra Club will mobilize new constituencies and organizations in the coalition, mount legal challenges to the procurement process, alert the media to border wall impacts, and support public exhibits of conservation photojournalist Krista Schlyer’s work.
“We could see billions of new federal funding poured into border infrastructure in September and knew we needed to act quickly,” said Rachel’s Network President Fern Shepard. “The Sierra Club has been in this fight for over a decade and knows the issue inside and out. We’re proud to support their work.”
The genesis for the partnership began at the Rachel’s Network Annual Meeting in March 2017, when Member Diana Hadley of Tucson shared the impacts she’s seen at the border, particularly the fragmenting of vital wildlife corridors, and the worrisome scale of proposed projects. Her presentation convinced members that they had to act and they soon convened with experts to learn where resources were most needed.
“This wall threatens everything I’ve been working for in the Southwest, from jaguar conservation and local economic development, to river restoration,” said Diana, founder and president of the Northern Jaguar Project in Sonora, Mexico. “I’m grateful that my fellow Rachel’s Network members recognize the unique and priceless beauty of this place and have stood up to defend it. I welcome others to join in this effort.”
For more information about this effort, and to donate, click here.
Rachel’s Network, a nonprofit organization named in Rachel Carson’s honor, promotes women as impassioned leaders and agents of change dedicated to the stewardship of the earth. The Network builds productive alliances among members and offers services that empower them to lead.
Founded by legendary conservationist John Muir in 1892, the Sierra Club is the nation’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization — with three million members and supporters. Their successes range from protecting millions of acres of wilderness to helping pass the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and Endangered Species Act.