May 11, 2022: Heartbreak and Devastation at the Border

Sonoran Broadband (AZ) co-leader Roz Switzer took a trip this month with Kate Scott, Borderlands Activist and owner of the Madrean Archipelago Wildlife Center, to check out the borderlands area after the Arizona Broads surveyed the border wall last spring.

Roz and Kate went to several areas in southeast Arizona, including the San Bernardino National Wildlife Refuge. Roz took pictures and compared them with her trip taken to the same areas in 2018.

What they discovered was heartbreaking.

From Roz Switzer:

“In June 2018 Broadband Leader Jenny Cobb and I visited the San Bernardino National Wildlife Refuge located in the Chihuahuan Desert at the international border east of Douglas AZ.

A vehicle barrier, easily traversed by animals, marked the border.  Several freshwater ponds dotted the cienega, creating lush wetlands in the arid desert.  Frogs, birds and dragonflies joined us for lunch along the shady bank.  Tracks of numerous species who utilized this desert oasis caught my eye.

Last month I visited the refuge again with Kate Scott, Director of the Madrean Archipelago Wildlife Center. The ponds I had visited were dry; victims of the draining of the aquifer. The water was used for cement to construct a new 30 foot segment of border wall. It was unnecessary and impenetrable to most wildlife. The dead vegetation was scraped into piles. All that I recognized were a few of the larger trees, still alive next to the barren banks of the empty pond where I had stopped for lunch. 

Over 40 years of wetland restoration had been obliterated.  No marsh, no fish, no animals, no birdsong. Untold suffering. This is ecocide.”

Click photos to enlarge:

Before: Roz by the marsh, 2018

After: April 2022

Before: 2018

After: April 2022

Before: 2018

Before: Jenny Cobb, 2018

Before: 2018

After: April 2022

After: April 2022

After: April 2022