Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument: Is nothing Sacred?

Organ Pipe Cactus in the Sonoran Desert

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument is a UNESCO biosphere reserve right on the border of Mexico in the heart of the largest expanse of protected Sonoran Desert on the planet. . It is the only place in the United States where the organ pipe cactus grows wild and it is sacred to the Tohono O’odham people. The national monument is 96% designated wilderness — the highest degree of protection Congress can bestow upon federal land.

This, however, did not stop the Trump administration from building a 30 foot wall right through Organ Pipe National park.

The first 30-foot (9.1 m) panels of a new Arizona, US-Mexico border wall were installed in August 2019 on a two-mile (3.2 km) stretch of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. It is the first of three projects that will add bollard walls along Southern Arizona’s wildlife refuges. The National Park Service issued a report on September 18, 2019, stating that the barrier wall threatens archaeological artifacts representing 16,000 years of human history.

Activists say the 30-foot barrier will block wildlife migration, destroy sacred sites and imperil endangered species. According to Laiken Jordahl, a naturalist at the Organ Pipe National Monument,  it will take thousands of years for the land to regenerate from the Dept. of Homeland Security sucking tens of millions of gallons of waster out of the aquifer to mix concrete for the wall.Endangered species at Organ Pipe, such as Quitobaquito pupfish and Sonoyta mud turtles, will perish without water. Both the pupfish and the turtle are found only at Quitobaquito Springs, a sweet, reed-ringed desert oasis just a stone’s throw from the planned course of Trump’s wall. The wall will stop migrating wildlife in their tracks, preventing animals like desert bighorn sheep, Sonoran pronghorn and even cactus ferruginous pygmy owls from finding water, food and mates.

Click here is see more images of the border wall in a Sierra Club article.

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