9th U.S. Circuit Holds Fate Of Organ Pipe Cactus Natl Monument Setting

"How the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rules on the Trump administration's bid to build a towering wall across the southern border of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in Arizona could wash out the Milky Way for visitors, block wildlife movements, and turn the borderline into something of an industrial construction zone, according to the local Sierra Club representative.

"The entire southern boundary of Organ Pipe would be walled off by what has been described as a 30-foot wall with all-night floodlighting," Dan Mills, of the Sierra Club's Grand Canyon Chapter Borderlands Program, said by phone Tuesday evening. "The contractor is already there on the ground, doing surveys and planning work. They’re talking about drilling new wells to do onsite concrete mixing for the foundation and for filling the steel posts. So it would be an enormous change."

Earlier this year the U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced its desire to build a tall barrier wall along the monument's 63-mile-long boundary with Mexico. Last week, however, a federal judge in California blocked the plan to build a wall with concrete-filled steel bollards that are approximately 6 inches in diameter. U.S. District Judge Haywood S. Gilliam, Jr. held that it was illegal for the Trump administration to use $2.5 billion in funds appropriated to the military to pay for the border wall.

On Tuesday the administration asked the 9th Circuit to overrule Judge Gilliam."

Kurt Repanshek reports for the National Parks Traveler July 2, 2019.

Source: National Parks Traveler, 07/03/2019