Film documenting environmental damage along the AZ border wall / Public News Service – Advice Eating

Conservationists say the 400-mile walls recently erected along the US-Mexico border are causing significant ecological damage and blocking migratory routes of threatened species.

“American Scar,” a film documenting the damage to desert landscapes, will be streamed online next week, followed by a panel discussion with the film’s director and producers. The short film examines the destruction caused in Arizona and elsewhere by the erection of steel barriers to prevent migrants and others from entering the country.

Myles Traphagen, Wildlands Network’s border areas coordinator, said the film aims to show how much damage has been done in sensitive areas of the region.

“This is aimed at people interested in border preservation and highlighting the damage that the construction of the border wall has caused to protected lands, waters and wildlife,” Traphagen explained.

Building the wall and making Mexico pay for it was one of Donald Trump’s key campaign promises in 2016, but billions of dollars later, fences only cover a small portion of the 1,800-mile barrier.

Traphagen pointed out that federal agencies erected the bulk of the fencing along the Arizona-northern Mexico border. He said most of the construction took place along protected federal lands such as wildlife sanctuaries and national parks.

“Rainfalls are rare, there isn’t much surface water, so animals have historical migration routes going back tens of thousands of years,” Traphagen pointed out. “Now we have essentially cut off these historic watering and feeding grounds for a large number of species.”

Traphagen added that other panelists will include director and producer Daniel Lombroso and members of Wildlands Network, Cuenca Los Ojos and the Sky Island Alliance.

“They’re releasing it on April 30 because it’s been in the film industry like the Big Sky Film Festival, the DC Environmental Film Festival and a bunch of others,” Traphagen noted. “There will also be a written article to accompany the documentary.”

Disclosure: The Wildlands Network contributes to our fund for reporting on Endangered Species and Wildlife, Environment, Public Lands/Wildlife, and Urban Planning/Transportation. If you would like to support public interest messages, click here.

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