Friday, May 02, 2008

Sabal Palm Memories

If you've been keeping up with all the border wall controversy, you may have heard that the Sabal Palm Audubon Center in Brownsville, TX is going to be adversely affected by the wall. The border wall will effectively cut off Sabal Palm from the US and put it in some weird in-between zone across the river from Mexico yet behind the wall from the rest of the US. This would make access extremely difficult and threaten the livelihood of this sanctuary. Sign the Petition to help save the Sabal Palm Audubon Center.

In 2005, I had the pleasure of visiting the Rio Grande Valley of south Texas on a trip with Field Guides led by the incomparable Chris Benesh. One of the highlights of a phenomenal trip was birding at the Sabal Palm Center. It was my first sightings of Green Jays and Plain Chachalacas as they fed from feeders right near the parking lot. A butterfly garden was full of interesting critters waiting to be identified. Olive Sparrows skulked in it too. We also saw Groove-billed Anis, Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, Long-billed Thrashers, and many other interesting birds.

Plain Chachalaca

Sabal Palm offers some of the last remnants on US soil of plants and animals that are at their northernmost ranges. It saddens me that this gem is in trouble due to this ridiculous border wall. Please help save Sabal Palm Audubon Center by signing the petition. It takes only a minute.
Neotropic Cormorants drying their wings


P. Ollig said...

I agree. I was there in 2006 and was amazed by what I saw. It's loss would be felt throughout the birding world.

Anyone who thinks this damned wall will solve all of our immigration problems is deluding themselves about the real issues. It's nothing more than a band-aid solution to a deep-seeded policy problem. Building a wall will not make it go away, it will only send it further underground.

Besides, you show me a 15 foot wall and I'll show you a 16 foot ladder.

Patrick Belardo said...

I couldn't agree more. BTW, I do like my new lens! So far, so good.

dguzman said...

I'm happy to see this post, Patrick; I've been blogging against this stupid wall for a while, but your blog gets a lot more traffic than mine. Thanks!

No one in the Rio Grande Valley wants this at all, and yet the federal govt just makes these unilateral decisions and bulldozes over our wishes. It's a huge waste of time and money, and the adverse effects would be numerous.

N8 said...

I was there last spring. I got eaten alive by mosquitos and heard the Grey-crowned Yellowthroat (but couldn't see it for the life of me!). Such a cool place

The wall is ridiculous, it's so piecemeal I don't see how it will work. People aren't stupid, they'll just go around it.

What a waste of money and great habitat. It just makes me sick.

Mel said...

Hopefully things will turn around for good = NO WALL.
Wish I could visit that place before is gone :(


On April 28 a Congressional Field Hearing was held in Brownsville, Texas. Titled Walls and Waivers: Expedited Construction of the Southern Border Wall and the Collateral Impacts on Communities and the Environment, it was intended to investigate the impacts that the border wall will have on border communities if it is constructed. Brownsville Diocese Bishop Reymundo Pena, Eagle Pass Mayor Chad Foster, and many other border residents testified, explaining the damage that a border wall would cause to the assembled members of Congress. The committee will continue to accept written testimony until May 16th. This is an important opportunity to inform members of Congress, and to ensure that our voices become part of the official record. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chertoff has announced that since he waived the National Environmental Policy Act there will be no Final Environmental Assessments or Environmental Impact Statements, and it is unclear what will happen to the hundreds of public comments that they received. That makes the comments submitted to members of Congress in connection to the field hearing even more important.

Here are the guidelines for written submissions to the U.S.Congressional field hearing record. They need to be in by Friday, May 16th.

1. Head your comments with the hearing name and date: Walls and Waivers: Expedited Construction of the Southern Border Wall and the Collateral Impacts on Communities and the Environment, April 28, 2008.

2. Do not exceed 10 pages.

3. No cover page is needed, although your name, title, and the organization that you represent (if you have one), should also be stated at the beginning of your testimony.

4. Please use typed single-space letter-size (8½ x 11) white paper.

5. Send via the postal service as they are not equipped to handle mass amounts of e-mail. The mailing address is:
Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife and Oceans
Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands
1324 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

6. If you submit attachments or exhibits to your testimony please include them as separate items at the end of your testimony. If attachments are more than 10 pages (in addition to your original testimony) or on paper larger than 8½ x 11, they will not accept them for printing. Instead, you should paraphrase or quote as needed. If including charts, tables, maps, or photographs, they should be included on separate pages, not within the text of a page.

mon@rch said...

I sure hope to make it to TX one of these days! Looks like such a great time you had!

Jochen said...

If you want to know all about the uselessness, cruelty and idiocy of building walls between countries, study recent German history.
Come on, USA, you're a grown-up nation but to LOOK AT and LEARN FROM other nation's mistakes won't hurt, ey!!!