Sunday, October 30, 2011

Yes Scott Brown, a Border Fence is a Conservation Issue

Fighting cubsThe League of Conservation Voters came out with a new ad last week pointing out that since Sen. Scott Brown (D-MA) arrived in Washington, Sen. Brown seems a lot more concerned with making his new polluter lobbyist friends happy than protecting wildlife and public health. Sen. Brown's re-election campaign responded in part, "The LCV Includes Non-Environmental Votes Taken By Senator Brown, Including His Support For A Border Fence".

Look, if you want to argue a border fence is necessary from a national security perspective, that's fine. You have to explain why it's worth spending $4 million per mile for a fence that can be easily scaled in less than 20 seconds by young women, and maybe deal with the Herman Cain let's kill the Mexicans perspective, but the root concern around national security is valid.

But you can't say a border fence isn't a conservation issue. Wildlife have not spent eons building their seasonal migration patterns around 2011's geopolitical concerns. As Defenders of Wildlife explains, a border fence cuts right through the commuting routes of dozens of species:
Many imperiled species depend upon borderland habitat for their continued existence. In Arizona alone, the Border Patrol estimates that 39 species protected or proposed to be protected under the Endangered Species Act are already being affected by its operations.

Much of this country’s most spectacular wildlife, including jaguars, ocelots, wolves, and hundreds of bird species depend upon protected public lands along the border for migration corridors between countries.
If Scott Brown is trying to refute the League of Conservation Voters' charge that he doesn't care about conservation issues, showing complete ignorance of the conservation issues surrounding a border fence probably isn't the best way to do it.
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