Opposition to a Continuous Wall along the U.S.-Mexico Border for its Significant Impacts on Wildlife

Number: 2017-09


WHEREAS, the National Wildlife Federation and its affiliates strongly advocate the protection and conservation of wildlife populations and their essential habitats, including movement corridors essential to meet wildlife survival needs along the southern border of the United States with Mexico and fostering joint conservation of wildlife species currently listed or being considered for listing under the U.S. Endangered Species Act; and

WHEREAS, the country of Mexico also has a strong national interest in protecting and conserving its wildlife populations and essential habitats, including movement corridors along its northern border with the United States; and

WHEREAS, we value our partnership and relationship with Mexico and concur that the conservation of wildlife populations and their essential habitats including movement corridors is a shared responsibility of both countries; and

WHEREAS, construction of a continuous border wall that is impassable to wildlife would adversely impact wildlife in both the U.S. and Mexico and negatively impact the relationship and cooperation of the two countries in their wildlife management activities; and

WHEREAS, the U.S.-Mexico border region is one of the most diverse wildlife habitat and wildlife movement corridors in North America, connecting, for example, the northern Sierra Madres, the southern Rocky Mountains, and the Mojave, Chiricahuan and Sonoran deserts; and

WHEREAS, this region provides habitat and movement pathways for a diverse complex of more than 700 neotropical wildlife species (i.e., mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians, and insects) which frequently require unrestricted movement across the U.S. and Mexico border to obtain critical sources of food and water during seasonal changes, under severe drought and climate change, and to find mates to ensure the survival of their species; and

WHEREAS, the construction of a continuous border wall that is impassable to threatened and endangered wildlife (e.g., Sonoran pronghorn antelope, Mexican gray wolf, jaguar, ocelots) and other unique wildlife species (e.g., desert bighorn sheep, Gould’s turkey) would significantly fragment their essential habitats along the U.S.- Mexico border and impact their ability to attain the habitat resources and species genetic interchange required to survive and maintain viable populations; and

WHEREAS, a continuous border wall would significantly impact the conservation and recovery efforts of both the U.S. and Mexico in their management of threatened and endangered wildlife species:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the National Wildlife Federation, in its annual meeting assembled June 8-10, 2017 in Stevenson, Washington, hereby opposes the construction of a continuous wall along the U.S.-Mexico border that is impassable to wildlife movements; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that when priority zones which will receive high barrier construction are determined, that protection of critical wildlife species be a major criteria for planning and implementation; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the National Wildlife Federation endorses use of electronic or wildlife-permeable barrier construction in those zones to permit the continued crossing of the affected species.