Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Draft programmatic environmental impact statement released for the entire northern border - CBP has announced public meetings

Customs and Border Protection has prepared a draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for unspecified enforcement activities along the entire US - Canada border, from Maine to Washington. These could include new or expanded forward operating bases, fencing, roads, towers, and just about anything that they think of over the next decade or so. The PEIS is extremely vague on exactly what might be done and where. It can be viewed here:

The public and interested organizations should offer comments, either online or at one of the scheduled public meetings along the northern border. Public meetings will be held from 7-9PM at the following locations:

October 4, 2011
Massena, NY VFW
101 W. Hatfield St.
Massena, NY 13662

October 6, 2011
St. Albans, VT
St. Albans Historical Museum
9 Church Street
St. Albans, VT 05478

October 5, 2011
Augusta, ME
The Senator Inn & Spa
284 Western Ave.
Augusta, ME 04330

October 4, 2011
Caribou, ME
Caribou Inn and Convention Center
19 Main Street
Caribou, ME 04736

October 11, 2011
Rochester, NY
Holiday Inn - Rochester
Airport 911 Brooks Avenue
Rochester, NY 15624

October 12, 2011
Erie, PA
Ambassador Banquet Center
7794 Peach Street
Erie, PA 16509

October 6, 2011
Detroit, MI
Holiday Inn Express
1020 Washington Boulevard
Detroit, MI 48226

October 17, 2011
Washington, DC
Crystal City Marriott at Reagan National Airport
1999 Jefferson Davis Highway
Arlington, VA 22201

October 3, 2011
Duluth, MN Holiday Inn
200 West First Street
Duluth, MN 55802

October 13, 2011
Naples, ID
The Great Northwestern Territories Event Center
336 County Road 8
Naples, ID 83847

October 5, 2011
Bottineau, ND
Twin Oaks Resort and Convention Center
10723 Lake Loop Road
Bottineau, ND 58318

October 11, 2011
Bellingham, WA
Hampton Inn
3958 Bennett Drive
Bellingham, WA

October 6, 2011
Havre, MT
The Town House Inn
627 1st Street West
Havre, MT 59501

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Border Wall Film Festival in Austin August 18

Austin Border Film Festival
Violet Crown Cinema * 434 W 2nd Street, Austin, TX
Thursday, August 18th, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Join the Sierra Club's Borderlands Team Thursday, August 18th for a free screening of 3 short documentaries that explore the issues and controversies surrounding the recently constructed U.S./México border wall

-Featuring Three Documentary Films and a short discussion to follow-

• Fencing the Border and its Birds, Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s gives an inside perspective on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s concerns about the wall's possible effects on wildlife and protected refuges in south Texas – 7 minutes.

• Wild vs. Wall, Sierra Club’s produced by Tucson filmmaker Steev Hise, is an overview of the environmental effects of current border policies, including insightful interviews and impressive footage demonstrating the long-term ecological effects of border infrastructure – 20 minutes.

• The Fence, Award-winning filmmaker Rory Kennedy’s HBO documentary features candid interviews with Border Patrol agents, ranchers, environmentalists and voices from both sides of the border security debate. Kennedy uses humor to highlight contradictions and politically-driven misinformation, as well as the ineffectiveness and costliness of the controversial border barrier – 30 minutes.

Admission is FREE
Donations to the Sierra Club Borderlands Protection Campaign gladly accepted at the door.

This film festival is dedicated to the memory of long time borderista Mary Grisco

Friday, July 15, 2011

Presentations on the border wall's impacts in South Texas August 22 & 23

The rugged deserts and mountains of Arizona’s southern border can be a treacherous place. Josseline was fourteen years old when she and her little brother crossed the U.S.-Mexico border, hoping to reunite with their mother in California. Walking for days, Josseline got sick and fell behind her group and the coyote that led them.

Three weeks later, Dan Millis was among the humanitarian aid volunteers that stumbled across Josseline's lifeless body in a remote canyon along the border. Since then, Millis has come to know that the costs of fatally flawed U.S. border policies extend beyond the tragic deaths of border crossers like Josseline. Walls push crossers into more remote desert terrain. Border ecosystems and the federal laws that protect them have also been cast aside by costly, ineffective, environmentally destructive, and inhumane attempts to "secure the border."

The Lower Rio Grande Valley Sierra Club is proud to co-sponsor presentations by Dan Millis in Brownsville on Monday, August 22, and in San Juan on Tuesday, August 23 respectively. Millis will tell how he was ticketed, dragged to court, and convicted of "littering" after leaving drinking water for migrants along border desert trails shortly after he found Josseline. Now working for the Sierra Club in Tucson, Dan will also discuss the environmental impacts of border walls and other enforcement measures. He will share stories of trans-national friendship and offer tips on which border walls are easiest to climb. Most importantly, Millis will speak up for the people and places victimized by border walls and enforcement-only politics and invite you to join in the fight.

Please join us Monday, August 22 at Galeria 409 in Brownsville, TX and Tuesday, August 23 at St. John the Baptist Parish Hall in San Juan, TX. Both presentations begin at 7:00pm. Refreshments will be served.

Monday, August 22 at 7:00pm Galeria 409 in Brownsville, Texas
Directions to Galeria 409, 409 E. 13th St.: From Expressway 77/83 in Brownsville, exit International and go south. Turn right onto Washington. Turn left on E 12th. Turn left on Levee St. Turn left onto E 13th. Galeria 409 is on the left in the middle of the block between Levee and Elizabeth streets. Parking is available at meters on Levee and Elizabeth, and there's a big parking lot on Levee and E 12th.

Tuesday, August 23 at 7:00pm St John the Baptist Parish Hall in San Juan, Texas
Directions to St John the Baptist, 216 W. 1st St.: From Expressway 83, exit Raul Longoria/Nebraska exit in San Juan and turn south on Nebraska. Turn right on 1st St. You will see the tower on the right. The Parish Hall is just past the tower. Parking is on the west and north side of the church complex.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Write your member of Congress - Oppose HR 1505

An assault on America's public lands and environmental laws has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, bearing the ironic name "National Security and Federal Lands Protection Act" (HR 1505).

Over 30 federal protection laws would be waived in a zone that extends 100 miles into the United States from all land borders and coasts. Roughly two-thirds of the U.S. population lives in the area targeted by this waiver. Cities from San Francisco to Boston and national parks from Glacier to Everglades could be put at risk.

And if that weren't enough, HR 1505 prohibits the Departments of the Interior and Agriculture, which oversee our national parks, wilderness areas, and wildlife refuges, from taking any actions to preserve the natural integrity of the lands that they oversee if their actions or advice conflict with the desires of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

HR 1505 is using national security as a cover to attack environmental laws and protected lands. DHS has not expressed a need for these harmful provisions. In fact, DHS testifies that public land managers are not getting in the way of their operations. Last October, the Government Accountability Office found that "most [Border Patrol] agents reported that land management laws have had no effect on Border Patrol's overall measure of border security."

Visit the Sierra Club page to send an email to your member of Congress, telling them to oppose HR 1505:

Friday, February 4, 2011

Sierra Club online action - write your Senator opposing more border walls‏

The Sierra Club has an online action that is now live. Click on the link, fill in your information, and send an email to your Senators telling them to reject any proposals to build more border walls.

o Border action alert update – Sierra Club live now!

Nearly 670 mills of fences and walls have already been constructed along our Southwestern International border, separating families, fracturing wildlife corridors, and scarring the region’s unique natural and cultural resources.

Now a number of politicians have called for yet another set of walls along the US / Mexico border, which would continue to come at great expense to local communities, ecosystems, and the American Taxpayer.

Please write your senators and say ‘NO’ to another set of border walls.

For more info. on the strong likelihood that the new Congress will push for more border walls, read the No Border Wall blog: