Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

October 19, 2022

ARIZONA BORDER -- Lawsuit Launched: Shipping Containers will Block Jaguar Migration

Lawsuit Launched Against Arizona Plan to Block Jaguar Migration With Shipping Containers

By Center for Biological Diversity
Censored News

TUCSON, Arizona — The Center for Biological Diversity today filed a notice of intent to sue Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey’s administration to challenge plans to obstruct a critical jaguar and ocelot migration corridor with shipping containers along the U.S.-Mexico border.

“These shipping containers are a shameless publicity stunt that will jeopardize the survival of endangered wildlife,” said Robin Silver, a co-founder of the Center. “There are 3,700 agents covering the Tucson Sector alone, not to mention helicopters, drones and hundreds of cameras. We’re in an extinction crisis, and it’s reckless to sacrifice a critical wildlife corridor and harm endangered animals so Ducey can score political points.”

Today’s legal notice follows the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s demand that Arizona remove double-stacked containers Ducey ordered placed along the border near Yuma in August. The bureau says the containers on federal and Cocopah Indian tribal land violate federal law.

The notice anticipates plans to install additional shipping containers along the border west of the Huachuca Mountains in the Coronado National Forest near Coronado National Memorial. The Center has documented dozens of shipping containers stockpiled in the area.

This area is an established, critical migration corridor for jaguars and ocelots, which are listed as endangered and protected under the Endangered Species Act. The notice says blocking the corridor will obstruct the animals’ movement and prevent their recovery in the United States, violating the Act.

“These useless barriers do nothing to stop people from crossing the border, but they’ll stop wildlife in their tracks,” Silver said. “Unless Ducey wants his legacy to be driving Arizona’s most iconic animals to extinction, he needs to end this ridiculous waste of taxpayer money.”

Beyond jeopardizing wildlife, endangered species and public lands, the U.S.-Mexico border wall is part of a larger strategy of ongoing border militarization that damages human rights, civil liberties, native lands, local businesses and international relations. The border wall impedes the natural migrations of people and wildlife that are essential to healthy diversity.
Shipping containers on the Arizona-Mexico border in the Coronado National Forest. The scar from Trump-era border wall construction in the Huachuca Mountains can be seen in the background. Photo credit: Center for Biological Diversity Image is available for media use.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.7 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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