Now that President Joe Biden has stopped the construction of Trump’s wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, media outlets and environmental organizations are finally getting a clearer view of the destruction that has been done to the borderlands.
“This is damage that will not ever be remediated or mitigated,” Randy Serraglio, Southwest conservation advocate with the Center for Biological Diversity, told High Country News. “This is permanent.”
The ecological devastation left in the wake of Trump’s incomplete wall includes destroyed mountainsides, depleted wetlands and negatively impacted wildlife habitats. It is still unknown what the long-term effects will be once a fuller assessment of the area can be taken.
“[The wall] went in so fast, and all the mitigation and study measures that you’d normally do never got done,” Aaron Flesch, a biologist and ecologist at the University of Arizona, told Scientific American. “We really don’t have much [data].”
Some organizations are asking the Biden administration to tear down some portions of the wall that are cutting through lands that are hurting animals like jaguars. Some sections of the border wall have fragmented lands and threatened these endangered species.
As late as last week, the Center for Biological Diversity shared footage of construction equipment continuing to destroy jaguar habitats even after Biden’s proclamation to stop border wall construction was signed last month.
“If all contracts are complete, 93% [of jaguar territory] will be blocked and walled off,” Myles Traphagen, borderlands program coordinator for Wildlands Network, told The Guardian.
Recently, Insider commissioned a photographer to document the parts of the border wall that are incomplete.
“It’s infuriating,” Laiken Jordahl, borderlands campaigner for the Center for Biological Diversity, told Insider. “They’ve destroyed so much in order to put up this tiny section of wall in the middle of a beautiful national park and national forest land.”