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Border wall construction crew bulldoze cactus at national monument

TUCSON — Border wall construction is underway in the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.
The construction is causing concern after a video posted on social media shows a cactus being bulldozed on the protected land.

“I’ve been posting updates most recently of Saguaro Cactuses literally being ripped out of the ground. Organ Pipe is designated to protect cactus like the Organ Pipe and Saguaro Cactuses,” Laiken Jordahl said. “It’s understandable, people are outraged to see the very species of this monument was designated to protect be destroyed.”

Courtesy:Kevin Dahl

Jordahl is a Border Lands Campaigner with the Center for Biological Diversity. He shared the video of the cactus being bulldozed online.

The video was shot by Kevin Dahl, who works at the National Parks Conservation Association. In Dahl’s facebook post he says, “A few saguaros are being relocated.”

“So the wall that’s currently under construction is 30 feet tall it’s made up of a 6 foot wide steel bollards and they’re drilling 10 feet into the ground in order to set the foundation for this wall and…will stretch for almost 50 miles,”Jordahl said, “So that means any migrating wildlife will be completely unable to make it around this barrier.”

Construction in the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument has not been shy from controversy. The department of homeland security waived dozens of laws to make it possible to move forward with construction on the protected lands.

“Wall constructions been occurring for a little bit over a month now and they’ve made about a quarter-mile of progress so far,” Jordahl said. “But the plan right now is to wall the entire monument off from land in Mexico. So we’re talking about at 40+ miles of continuous border wall and this will completely cut the monument off from other habitat and Mexico.”

We reached out to Customs and Border Protection regarding the bulldozed cactus but have not yet heard back for comment.

Denelle Confair

Denelle Confair

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