What the Ice Ages Couldn’t Finish Off, the Feds May

Categories: Cover Story

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Keith Hackland has pretty much devoted his life to birds since setting up a bed and breakfast (for birders) in the Rio Grande Valley. A birder, guide to birders and a nature writer, he is aghast at the latest plans Congress has for border security – namely: a solid fence along the Rio Grande.

Hackland and many others are trying to stop the fence because putting it in will mean cutting down brush (aka wildlife habitat) alongside it. No brush means the birds who travel through there in one of the major U.S. to Central and South America migratory routes may not have a place to land, drink water, or get food. Other species of birds live here year round in what has become one of the top, most diverse birding spots in the United States.

For the past 20 years the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife has spent $80 million in taxpayer money buying up former farmland to make this wildlife corridor. Thousands of volunteers have replanted the land with native vegetation. Now it may all be lost.

Hackland looks at birds, imagines their plumage gone and sees mini-dinosaurs.

Homeland Security looks at birds and sees nothing at all.

Please read “Killing Fences” in this week’s edition of the Houston Press. And make plans to travel to the lower Rio Grande Valley to catch a glimpse of paradise before it’s bulldozed into extinction. – Margaret Downing


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