In my dreams and nightmares, I keep coming back to those eight intense days in five states along the border.

In my dreams and nightmares, I keep coming back to those eight intense days in five states along the border — after nearly a half century of crisscrossing it — and it still feels like a changling, a chimera to me.

Is it a hard surface of discontinuity, with a sharp division of opportunities on either side of its sheet metal walls, its Normandy barriers, its anti-ram concrete blockades, its bollards and barbed wire fences? Or is the sharpness I feel ...

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Science put at risk along U.S.-Mexico border

Off the southern coast of California, just across the border from Tijuana, Mexico, dolphins swim around the fence that juts out into the Pacific Ocean. “They don’t really care,” said Jeff Crooks, a University of San Diego scientist who has been doing research along the U.S.-Mexico border for the past 16 years.

The border fence here was built long before President Trump’s campaign promises to “build a wall.” Barriers run for 46 miles separating San Diego County from Mexico; near the ...

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Land, Food, And Bridging Social Divisions With Gary Paul Nabhan On Access Utah

Gary Paul Nabhan is an Agricultural Ecologist, Ethnobotanist, Ecumenical Franciscan Brother, and author whose work has focused primarily on the interaction of biodiversity and cultural diversity of the arid binational Southwest. He is considered a pioneer in the local food movement and the heirloom seed saving movement.

We’ll talk about his new books, “Mesquite: An Arboreal Love Affair,” and “Food from the Radical Center: Healing Our Lands and Communities,” which release in September 2018.

 

 
 
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Story from: Tom Williams at ...

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Rural Conservatives are Indeed Effective Conservationists

I’ve been humbled to learn that conservative Republicans throughout the country are not only among the leaders in the recovery of rare standard breeds of domesticated turkeys, but are also essential to the recovery of wild turkey populations and the restoration of their habitats. It tells me two things.

First, that some conservationists dismiss the efforts of those interested in conserving domesticated seeds and breeds because they claim there is no carryover in concern for wild species, which is a false ...

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Conversations with people coming together to restore disappearing foods.

Having spent a lot of time on the ground with people coming together to restore disappearing foods of their regions, there are two particular conversations that have always stood out for me: I remember one old timey apple grower in Appalachia telling me that he loves growing heirloom varieties, but if some of them have no interest among consumers, he has to cull them out of his orchard to make room for varieties that still attract the interest of urban ...

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Remembering Lincoln Brower: A field scientist who went through as many metamorphic life stages as monarch butterflies do

When I heard of Lincoln Brower’s passing, I remembered how I dreamed that my father had turned into a monarch butterfly after he had died. But with Lincoln, the story could not be as simple as just one transformation. He was a truly ecological lab scientist of incredible ingenuity in experimental design, a skill that he applied to the study of mimicry and milkweed toxicity as they relate to monarchs, viceroys and queens. His ingenuity and originality was evident in ...

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Nature Divided, Scientists United: US–Mexico Border Wall Threatens Biodiversity and Binational Conservation

Fences and walls erected along international boundaries in the name of national security have unintended but significant consequences for biodiversity (Trouwborst et al. 2016). In North America, along the 3200-kilometer US–Mexico border, fence and wall construction over the past decade and efforts by the Trump administration to complete a continuous border “wall” threaten some of the continent’s most biologically diverse regions. Already-built sections of the wall are reducing the area, quality, and connectivity of plant ...

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We have met migrants and refugees from many Central American and Mexican landscapes who just want to be safe.

As the day approaches when a federal judge learns whether federal agencies have been able to reunite all detained families that have been separated, we hear in Las Cruces at dawn that these agencies appear to have fallen far short of their mandate. There is chaos and disappointment in the air as we talk to people from all walks of life, of different ethnicities and faiths. We have been on a listening tour on both sides of the borderlands. We ...

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Thousands of scientists object to Trump’s border wall

Thousands of scientists expressed alarm this week at the expansion of the wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. A report in BioScience outlined the dangers of building a continuous and impermeable border wall, saying it would harm animals and plants in this sensitive region. The scientists cite bypassed environmental laws, habitat destruction, and losses to conservation and scientific research as the primary areas of concern.

The region is home to more than 1,500 native plant and animal species, including several endangered species. After posting the ...

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Deeply Inspired by the Remarkable Food Justice and Social Commentaries from the staff at La Semilla Food Center.

How do we rekindle our hope during the darkest of times? With regard to the current crisis at our border, many of us have felt anxiety, distress, frustration and horror over the way many people have been repeatedly been treated during their efforts to gain political asylum, seek sanctuary and secure dignified livelihoods in the U.S.

Well, in Anthony, Texas today, I was deeply inspired by both the remarkable food justice work being done and the social commentaries we heard from ...

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Parts of the story of the border are hidden to most Americans.

Kristy: I am feeling that parts of the story of the border are hidden to most Americans, as if these sagas have been made “invisible” even to those of us who come to the borderlands attempting to understand it.

Gary: I think you are right about that Kristy. That’s why I am so glad that you met Enrique Madrid in Redford Texas today. A giant of a man, with his long, gray-haired ponytail and his huge heart, he is an independent ...

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We must all take an oath, to do no harm to others.

Our conversations and experiences the past few days have shown us the real harm that walls do to people and their communities. From concrete and steel to closed ports of entry, walls disrupt. They dehumanize. The lovely Boquillas del Carmen was almost destroyed when its port of entry was closed in 2002, and is making a comeback since its 2013 reopening. Borders/walls dehumanize people like Sandro, a U.S. citizen who has experienced verbal and physical at the hands of Border ...

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Border Dialogue: Monarch Butterflies, Other Migrants & the Passing of Lincoln Brower

Gary: We are being hosted by Bonnie McKinney, Wildlife Coordinator of the El Carmen Land and Conservation Co. LLC, and her partner Bill Pat not far from La Linda Coahuila, just east of Big Bend National Park. Bonnie reminds us that this private conservation reserve is the connecting link in an ecological corridor which joins the Sky Islands of the northern Chihuahuan Desert with the Sierra Madre of northern Mexico. But Bonnie also reminds us that this migratory corridor has ...

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All have stressed the need to heal the divide that is expanding between us.

Cousin Gary Nabhan and I are having an enriching, educational, and all-around incredible time here on the U.S.-Mexico border. In the past 5 days we have met with women, men, and children From Nogales to Terlingua, Texas. Aid workers, refugees, small business owners, U.S. Park Rangers, and land conservationists. White ethnics, Mexicanos, and indigenous women and men alike. All have stressed the need to heal the divide that is expanding between us. That everyone wins when we invest in and ...

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‘Put ourselves in others’ shoes, and to go beyond the sound bites.’

Gary: Where else are we seeing signs of hope along the U.S.-Mexico border?

Kristy: In the person of Marcos Paredes, a lifelong borderlander of Yaqui and Mexican descent, who worked for the U.S. Park Service and Far-Flung Adventures, Inc. for over 30 years. Today, he is President of Rio Aviation, Inc. run out of Terlingua, Texas and helps facilitate many cross-border exchanges. He is committed to maintaining mutually beneficial relationships for Americans and Mexicans on both sides of the border.

Gary: Yes, ...

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It seems that we’re beginning to hear some recurrent themes from our friends that live closest to the border.

Gary: It seems that we’re beginning to hear some recurrent themes from our friends that live closest to the border.

Kristy: I’m reflecting on that too. Remember the beautiful challenge our cousin Joe Nebhan put before us just before we left El Paso? I think he said it this way:

“There are commonly-held misconceptions about the border that are based solely upon fear, not on knowledge. I recommend to those uninitiated Americans who, for whatever reason they have not spent time here ...

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Guest opinion: Cruelty and incompetence on the border

Like most Americans, we have been sickened by the sights and sounds of children torn away from their families at the border. President Trump’s separation policy was designed for maximum deterrence against immigrants seeking asylum or crossing the border. And whether by incompetence or by intent, Trump’s administration had no plan to keep track of children and parents in order to reunite them.

Trump blamed previous administrations, saying that he had no choice but to enforce the existing immigration laws. But ...

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Borderland Dialogue: Day Three

Gary: Oh, what an irony: We could hardly find the Southwest Key detention center for unaccompanied minors in Tucson, but when we met our Lebanese relatives at their historic Gardner Hotel in El Paso, they had a few surprises for us, didn’t they?

Kristy: I would say so. Another Southwest Key detention center was right next to the hotel, less than 50 yards from where the rooms were that our cousins graciously offered us. The windows are all closed tight, the ...

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We were at the Annunciation House where individuals are reunited with their families.

There is a lot of compassion here in the borderlands. Borderlanders are telling us that the only way to understand the complex situation is to “Come and visit. Eat the food. Talk to people.” Indeed. We spent time this morning at the Annunciation House where individuals are reunited with their families. Incredibly moving… expectant mothers from El Salvador, a father and son from Brazil, young men from across Central America.

So many people fleeing violence and disarray yet we are feeling ...

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Borderlands Dialogues: On Empathy & Accompaniment, Part 3

Gary: Do you know what really touched me today Kristy, while you were talking to the mothers from Guatemala and Mexico who were stranded, waiting to be processed at the DeConcini Gate at the Nogales Port of Entry?

Kristy: So much of what we saw and heard there was moving to me, since it was my first time at the border there. But what moved you?

Gary: It was the excitement of the face of the 8-year old boy from Guerrero, Mexico, ...

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