Thursday, June 14, 2007

immigration policies & birding

Can our country's immigration policies affect birding and conservation? Consider the following e-mail which was posted on MOU's Listserve:

From: "Nancy Millar"
Date: June 14, 2007 9:00:58 AM CDT

This is a call for help. The U.S. government is actually serious about building a wall along the Rio Grande in the Valley. For so long most of us down here ignored the idea because it is so obviously ludicrous. It's appalling to us that it's not only being taken seriously, but is actually apparently about to be funded.
* * *
... how much has anyone thought about its effect on the environment? Here we
are, famous for something positive in our country- being the most productive location for the estimated 65 to 80 MILLION birders in the U.S. to visit -- and the government is planning on building a fence, and clearing 150 to 250 feet of brush along the river to do so. Obviously the birds can fly right over the fence, but destroying their habitat along the river will make the area perhaps not hostile to them, but certainly a lot less friendly. The effects will be felt by all things migratory. And for those animals that can't fly, it will cut off their primary source of water. Environmentally speaking, this could start a downward spiral from which it could literally take hundreds of years to recuperate, if the area ever could.

If you care about these issues, and how they may affect this unique birding spot, please be part of the solution. Write your U.S. Congressmen and Senators and let your feelings be known. It's the only way to stop the fence and preserve the land at the river. And please do so quickly. This issue is upon us NOW.

Many thanks for your efforts. Any other ideas you have on what we can do would be greatly appreciated. We are moving, and organizing, but there is so much to do in a very short amount of time.

Nancy S. Millar,Vice President and Director McAllen Convention and Visitors' Bureau, McAllen Chamber of Commerce
P.O. Box 790
1200 Ash Avenue
McAllen, Texas 78505-0790
956-682-2871 x 3013 (voice), 1-877-MCALLEN (622-5536) (toll free) 956-631-8571 (fax)