Past Features

November 12, 2017

Trump Texas wall on levees...
not a wildlife refuge

Source: Texas Observer -- Click to enlarge
Texas Observer -- November 10, 2017    
Records Show Where Trump Plans to Build Texas Border Wall
    Documents obtained by the Observer offer new insights into the Trump administration's plans for a border wall in portions of the Rio Grande Valley. A map produced in May by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers shows where the administration expects to build 33 miles of wall in 15 different segments, including portions that would tear through three wildlife areas. The documents also reveal a rating system the administration is using to rank the difficulty of building each segment, based on the topography and the legal difficulty of taking over the land.
    “Nice RV park, many retirees live there permanently,” reads the entry for a nearly 2-mile segment that would cut off the Chimney Park RV Resort, the historic La Lomita Chapel and the Riverside Club, a popular hangout for winter Texans. “Western half of segment will impacts [sic] upward of 100 homeowners.” The Army Corps rates building the section as “most challenging.”
    According to the documents, the wall would bisect the Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park, a 797-acre preserve that's one of the top birding destinations in North America. Walls would also run through the neighboring National Butterfly Center, a private nature sanctuary that recently announced it would sue the government to stop construction, as well as the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge. The Army Corps of Engineers rates the Santa Ana refuge as an “easy” location, because the land is already owned by the federal government.
    In early July, the Observer revealed the government's plan to build a 2.9-mile levee wall through Santa Ana, one of the nation's oldest protected wildlife habitats. Located about 10 miles southeast of McAllen, the refuge is home to at least 400 bird species and 450 species of plants, and it hosts both the rare Texas Sabal Palm and the endangered ocelot.

Glenn Spencer -- November 12, 2017
Texas Trumptrum -- much ado about very little
    A close look at a map of the locations of the Trump Wall produced by the Texas Observer shows that none is placed on private land --- but rather on existing levees --- some distance from the actual border.
    The Observer claims that the government has "plan to build a 2.9-mile levee wall through Santa Ana, one of the nation's oldest protected wildlife habitats.” As we reported in August, the “wall” follows the levee on the northern boundary of the Santa Ana Refuge --- not through it.
    The Observer claims that the government will cut off the Chimney Park RV Resort - but maybe not all of it - just the Western half. A look at the RV Park suggest that the government will no doubt leave open the road leading to the park, but it may be inconvenient for those on the western part.
    All of this is very much ado about very little --- just much more of the Trumptrums we have witnessed all across the country.