The saguaro cacti at Arizona’s Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument is a protected plant species that are an important part of the local environment, but that hasn’t stopped government officials from destroying them with bulldozers as they prepare to build Trump’s border wall.
In a video shot and shared by Kevin Dahl, the senior program manager for the National Parks Conservation Association, bulldozers are seen collecting and even destroying many of the cacti in what he described to Earther as a scene of “outrage.”
At Organ Pipe Cactus NM on the road to Quitobaquito. A few saguaros are being relocated. Others are being bulldozed. The...Posted by Kevin Dahl on Tuesday, October 1, 2019
“We love these saguaros,” he explained. “The Tohomo O’odham [tribe], in their taxonomy of life saguaros are very close to humans. And you know, they have a majestic presence, they are the iconic symbol of this part of the world. You know you’re someplace different when you’re in a saguaro forest.”
Posted by Kevin Dahl on Tuesday, October 1, 2019
The cacti located within the 60-foot strip of land called the Roosevelt Reservation, which the government now has access to in order to build the wall, will likely be moved to another location, though how and where hasn’t been revealed.
“There may be misconceptions that were are on a construction site and just not caring for the environment and just proceeding with work as planned,” said a project engineer in a clip released by The Army Corps of Engineers. “This isn’t true. We’re taking great care to take care of the protected species.”
While the NPS previously warned the U.S. government that building the wall along the border could disturb up to 23 different archaeological sites, leading to the areas being “wholly or partially destroyed by forthcoming border fence construction,” that hasn’t stopped them from bulldozing their way through the area.
VIDEO: Saguaros are being bulldozed for the #BorderWall in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. Trump's reckless border hysteria is destroying our environment and killing the very species this national monument was designated to protect.— Laiken Jordahl (@LaikenJordahl) October 4, 2019
Footage by Kevin Dahl, @NPCA. pic.twitter.com/XceszFIRKd
It’s likely that this level of destruction will continue and actually get much worse as Trump continues his racist and xenophobic campaign against immigrants. We can only hope he’s impeached before he gets much further.