Sierra Club & Conservation Groups Challenge Border Wall Construction in San Diego, Imperial Valley

On September 14, a coalition of national conservation groups including Defenders of Wildlife, Sierra Club and Animal Legal Defense Fund filed suit against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) challenging border wall construction activities that threaten wildlife and public lands in San Diego and Imperial Valley, California.

Dan Millis of the Sierra Club’s Borderlands Program stated, “Waiving important public health and environmental safeguards leaves border communities without the protections that other Americans count on every day. Wiping away decades-old laws along the border achieves nothing more than unnecessarily harming local communities, wildlife, and wild places.”  He also stated that “This blatant disregard for effective and well-established safeguards harms hard-working families, threatened and endangered wildlife, and critical natural resources – all of which are essential to the region.”

More than 600 miles of border walls and barriers have been constructed in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. In California, border barriers affect more than a dozen rare species, including the endangered Arroyo toad and Quino checkerspot butterfly. Any extension of the border wall would bisect the Tijuana River that meanders through the locally protected Marron Valley and the federally protected Jacumba Wilderness Area, cutting off important migration routes for the highly endangered Peninsular bighorn sheep, devastating recovery efforts. In Texas, walls and barriers block people and animals from access to the Rio Grande River, an important water source for communities and wildlife alike.

Learn more about the Sierra Club’s Borderlands Program here.