Articles

Money for Hospital Beds, Not Trump’s Wall

On February 27, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts, unveiled a bill that had the potential to positively affect the lives of millions of Americans. It was intended to immediately divert money from President Donald Trump’s border wall to the U.S. response to the coronavirus. At the time, we could only guess how badly such funds would be needed.

Now, more than a month later, public health officials have informed New York Governor Andrew Cuomo that a minimum of 140,000 ...

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Order of Ecumenical Franciscans for the House Committee on Appropriations and its Subcommittee on Homeland Security

March 23, 2020

RE:  Written Testimony for FY 2021 Appropriations

VIA email at MC.Approp.@mail.house.gov

 

Dear Chairwoman Shultz, Ranking Member Carter and Members of the Committee:

 

I am writing to ask that you rescind all Department of Defense and Treasury funds for building more of the border wall.

 

My name is Gary Paul Nabhan and I am an Ecumenical Franciscan Brother who has lived and worked on the U.S./Mexico border as a seasonal park ranger, farmer, conservational biologist and facilitator ...

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Indigenous Religious Freedom Violations Abound at the U.S.-Mexico Border Barriers

This last year, we have palpably felt a heightened level of traumatic stress pervasive in the Indigenous communities where all three of us have worked on both sides of the international boundary. Throughout our adult lives, we have provided educational opportunities, technical assistance, and land rights advocacy strategies within the many Indigenous communities that live within 100 miles or so from the U.S.-Mexico border. But now, we see the bridges that we have worked to build across the border threatened. ...

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Food from the Radical Center: Healing Our Lands & Communities – Dr. Gary Nabhan

Streaming live from the Barrows Lecture Series at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden

Wednesday, March 11, 2020, 7:00-9:00 PM (ET)

Gary Nabhan is an ethnobiologist, nature writer, and world expert on the people, plants and wildlife of the Sonoran Desert. A recipient of a MacArthur “genius award,” Nabhan was honored by Utne Reader in 2011 as one of several visionaries whose work is making the world a better place in which to live. In his career Gary has served as ...

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Indigenous group reaffirms importance of Quitobaquito Springs amid border wall construction

“We who live near the border are blessed the Hia c-ed O’odham and Tohono O’odham have never abrogated or surrendered their rights to practice their spiritual traditions at sacred sites in the Sonoran Desert on or near the international boundary that cut their homeland in half. We pray that the groundwater pumping to build the border wall will not further dry up the freshwater springs and sacred and medicinal plants that O’odham elders speak of in this new radio program ...
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Biocultural Restoration of Sacred Sites, Earth Day, and Restoration Ecology’s Patron Saint

The question, of course, is what on earth is going to bring about the transformation that is needed; what is going to help us, once again and anew, to find our place and purpose within this beautiful prolific earth? One response that has been frequently overlooked by scholars . . . is that of ecological restoration. — Gretel Van Wieren (2008) Ecological Restoration as Public Spiritual Practice

The Dawning of the Age of Restoration

As we approach the fiftieth anniversary of Earth ...

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Walking the Line: The Cost of Lost Kinship when we Militarize Borders

I walk the line. Well, I used to walk the line, looking for desert belly flowers, rare cacti, kangaroo rat tracks, and cryptic horny toads. I walked one side of the fence while Mexican friends stationed on the other side of the international boundary did their part, six feet to the south of me.

They were in Sonora, Mexico, and I was in Arizona, the arid-most reach of the United States, but all of us were rooted in the same Sonoran ...

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Celebration of “Jerri” Wanda Mary Goodwin Nabhan Buxton – 1927-2020

As some of you can guess, I am the last person you’d want to assign to do an obituary of someone you love, so let someone else do that for Jerri & let me just say what she meant to me, many of you & what she exemplified of American life over the last century, for she was as emblematic of her times as Forrest Gump, Shirley Temple, Lucille Ball or Beyonce have been of theirs.

If you didn’t know, my ...

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Speak Up Las Cruces: Gary Nabhan

Agricultural Ecologist, Ethnobotanist, Ecumenical Franciscan Brother, and author Gary Nabhan joined Peter and Walt to talk about the border wall, native plants, and “how do we all get back together again in such divisive times?” [Hint: local food movement might help!].

He is considered a pioneer in the local food movement and the heirloom seed saving movement, whose work has focused primarily on the interaction of biodiversity and cultural diversity of the very dry and very binational Southwest.

The vision of Las ...

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Bulldozers Versus Biodiversity, Then and Now

Trump’s border wall threatens habitats in Arizona’s Sonoran Desert. What happened when the area was bulldozed in the 1950s?

 

The bulldozing of rare cacti and other species at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in Arizona for the Trump border wall has caused much controversy. But as it happens, this isn’t the first time bulldozers have altered this site.

Established as a National Monument under the authority of the National Parks Service in 1937, Organ Pipe is made up of 517 ...

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Water-guzzling demands of Trump’s border wall threaten fish species

The survival of eight endangered and threatened species, including four kinds of endemic fish, is in doubt in Arizona, as massive quantities of groundwater are extracted to construct Donald Trump’s border wall.

The 30ft-high barrier is under construction on the edge of the San Bernardino national wildlife refuge in south-eastern Arizona, where rare desert springs and crystalline streams provide the only US habitat for the endangered freshwater Río Yaqui fish.

The region’s water ...

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At the Mexican Border, the Battle for Endangered Species is as Much About Water as About The Wall

When 340 protesters from many cultures showed up at Organ Pipe Cactus Monument on the Arizona-Mexico border this past November to express their heartbreak over the damage done by construction of a wall, law enforcement officers appeared to be baffled by their concerns. Officials from the Army Corps of Engineers and Homeland Security were surprised that all of the signs and chants were not targeted at the wall itself.

Sure, some of the youth present were in animal costumes to demonstrate ...

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Gary Nabhan Listens as Two Fruits Testify at the Impeachment Hearings

Adam Schiff: Today we will hear from two fruit trees who happened to be in the Ukraine at the time of the back channel visits there by Rudy Guliani. Before we begin with some substance, do you have any fluff to add to todays presentations, Mr. Nuñes?

Devin Nuñes: Oh, here we go with Adam Schiff ’s Storytime of events that did not happen. There is no Ukraine. In fact, there is no Russia. There is no back channel. I have ...

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Modelled distributions and conservation status of the wild relatives of chile peppers

Crop wild relatives—the wild progenitors and closely related species to cultivated plants—have provided many important agronomic and nutritional traits for crop improvement (Dempewolf et al., 2017; Hajjar & Hodgkin, 2007). As populations of some of these taxa are adapted to extreme climates, adverse soil types, and important pests and diseases, they may provide key traits for the adaptation of crop plants to emerging and projected future challenges (Dempewolf ...

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People came together to grieve the construction of an unneeded border wall.

At Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument today, 320 people of different nations, races, cultures and faiths peacefully came together to grieve the new construction of an unneeded border wall. Its construction activities are already cutting off access to water for the survival of people and wildlife, are violating native and other place-based spiritual practices, and are destroying ancient cactus and ironwood forests.

At Qutobaquito springs along the border–once the most biodiverse oasis in the entire Sonoran Desert– the cumulative destruction of ...

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Richard Nelson, Wise Child of the Wild, Flies Away on the West Coast of Salmon Nation

The only job description that fully fit with his temperament and enormous skill set was that of being in exuberant contact with the wild world.  All other job descriptions imposed on him by institutions or scholarly disciplines were side issues, or at best, springboards for getting him into the wilderness: as an ethnographer studying survival on sea ice; a field anthropologist investigating subsistence hunting; an ethnozoologist documenting traditional knowledge and values of Athapaskan fishers, foragers and hunters; a videographer, an ...

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Gary Nabhan requests career counseling from a pomegranate tree

Pomegranate: Next! How can I help you today?

Gary: Well, I feel kinda out of balance with my work these days.

Pomegranate: Have you requested an appointment with your corporations Human Resources Division?

Gary: That’s just the trouble. I feel that my personal human resources have become too divided. You see, I love science and I love poetry, but they don’t always go together in the workplace. Or to put a finer point on it, they almost never go together…

Pomegranate: That’s why you ...

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An Ironwood Tree and a Saguaro Ask Gary for Help in Conflict Resolution

Gary: Okay, okay, I know you are both sensitive about what has happened between you, but let us see if we can find common ground….

Ironwood: Common ground? I have offered to share my ground with this little upstart not long after his germination. I served as his nurse for over thirty years, protecting him from heat, drought, sunburn, freezes and furry creatures. And what do I get in return? He throws his roots out right over mine and sucks up ...

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Gary Nabhan asks for spiritual guidance from an arborescent cactus

Gary: Greetings, master.

Prickly Pear: Greetings. Bless you, my child.

Gary:  I am here to ask you to tell me the secrets that have made you so upstanding, so unflappable.

Prickly Pear: Well, I‘m not so sure have always been UP standing. When I was younger, my prickly pads sort of zigzagged their way above the desert floor. And have you noticed how much they look like pancakes/ I would say that they are unflappable, Jack.

Gary: My name is Gary, not Jack.

Prickly Pear: ...

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Gary Nabhan asks for directions from a rivulet rushing downhill toward a larger stream

Gary: Excuse me, I’m lost, can you tell me which way…?

Rivulet: I can’t hear you, the water is roaring so loud, can you just…

Gary: Wait, don’t run away, I just need a little help…

Rivulet: Well, then just don’t stand there, jump in!

Gary: But what if it won’t take me to where I’m trying to reach?

Rivulet: Reach? Don’t just stand there! See, you’re going nowhere right now…

Gary: But I’m lost!

Rivulet: That’s because you’re not moving toward anything.

Gary: But what the way ...

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