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Title: Mapping and assessing the environmental impacts of border tactical infrastructure in the Sky Island Region

Author: Patrick-Birdwell, Caroline; Avila-Villegas, Sergio; Neeley, Jenny; Misztal, Louise;

Date: 2013

Source: In: Gottfried, Gerald J.; Ffolliott, Peter F.; Gebow, Brooke S.; Eskew, Lane G.; Collins, Loa C. Merging science and management in a rapidly changing world: Biodiversity and management of the Madrean Archipelago III and 7th Conference on Research and Resource Management in the Southwestern Deserts; 2012 May 1-5; Tucson, AZ. Proceedings. RMRS-P-67. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 365-369.

Publication Series: Proceedings (P)

   Note: This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document

Description: In this project we mapped the different types of border barriers, identified impacts of border infrastructure on public and private lands and conducted spatial analyses within the approximately 200 miles of international border in the Sky Island region. The Sky Island region, bisected by the U.S.-Mexico border, is critically important for its biodiversity and continental connectivity. Only on the Arizona side is the border lined with protected areas such as San Bernardino and Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuges, San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area, Coronado National Memorial, and several Wilderness Areas. In recent years the construction of border barriers, walls and other tactical infrastructure built to deter human and vehicle traffic across the border has had substantial impacts on ecological processes and created an impermeable boundary with effects that reach far beyond the footprint of the border wall. Due to the Department of Homeland Security’s waiver of all legal requirements along significant portions of the U.S.-Mexico border, construction of border infrastructure proceeded without the requisite environmental impact studies or input from public land managers or private landowners. With the use of Geographic Information Systems we analyzed and graphically compiled results from over-flights along the border generating photographic data of the current state and effects of infrastructure, field visits to obtain complementary information and ground-truth aerial photographs, and observations of the direct effects of barriers to wildlife movements and the flow of ecological and hydrologic processes.

Keywords: Madrean Archipelago, Sky Islands, southwestern United States, northern Mexico, natural environment, fauna, flora, research, management, biodiversity, climate change

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  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
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Citation:


Patrick-Birdwell, Caroline; Avila-Villegas, Sergio; Neeley, Jenny; Misztal, Louise. 2013. Mapping and assessing the environmental impacts of border tactical infrastructure in the Sky Island Region. In: Gottfried, Gerald J.; Ffolliott, Peter F.; Gebow, Brooke S.; Eskew, Lane G.; Collins, Loa C. Merging science and management in a rapidly changing world: Biodiversity and management of the Madrean Archipelago III and 7th Conference on Research and Resource Management in the Southwestern Deserts; 2012 May 1-5; Tucson, AZ. Proceedings. RMRS-P-67. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 365-369.

 


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