Restoration Economy

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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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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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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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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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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Trans Situ Conservation of Crop Wild Relatives

In the face of unprecedented climatic disasters, social conflict, and political uncertainty, integrating in situ and ex situ strategies may become increasingly necessary to effectively conserve crop wild relatives (CWR). We introduce the concept of trans situ conservation to safeguard CWR genetic diversity and accessibility for crop improvement. Building on initiatives to combine in situ protection with ex situ backup in genebanks, trans situ conservation dynamically integrates multiple in situ and ex situ measures, from conservation to research to education, ...

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Trump’s Border Wall: Epitaph for an Endangered, Night-blooming Cactus?

Construction is underway on a 30-foot-high steel wall along Arizona’s southern border in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. As several reports have recently warned, the wall will hurt many endangered desert species, from Sonoran pronghorns to cactus ferruginous pygmy owls. To understand how the wall will further fragment habitats for these already-declining plants and animals, let’s go deep with one rare species that’s at grave risk: a cactus called the night-blooming cereus.

Sacamatraca, a beautiful and rare ...

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Ancient watering hole in Southern Arizona at risk from border wall construction

An ancient spring near Lukeville has slaked the thirst of desert travelers for centuries, but its days may be numbered as groundwater is pumped to build a 30-foot border wall.

Water has bubbled out of the granite at Quitobaquito Springs for thousands of years, making it a key watering hole for the Tohono O’odham, Spanish missionaries, U.S. and Mexican boundary surveyors, and countless other humans and animals.

The Trump administration decided to build a wall along 44 miles of the border in ...

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Agrivoltaics proves mutually beneficial across food, water, energy nexus

Building resilience in renewable energy and food production is a fundamental challenge in today’s changing world, especially in regions susceptible to heat and drought. Agrivoltaics, the co-locating of agriculture and solar photovoltaic panels, offers a possible solution, with new University of Arizona-led research reporting positive impacts on food production, water savings and the efficiency of electricity production.

Agrivoltaics, also known as solar sharing, is an idea that has been gaining traction in recent years; however, few studies have monitored all aspects ...

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Tariffs, AZ Dept. of Ag leave farmers barren

When President Trump initiated his trade tariff wars with China a year ago, economists warned that it could precipitate the second-worst farm crisis in a half century.

Most farmers in Arizona did not get hit as hard as those in Corn Belt states. The tariff wars alone didn’t seem to precipitate a crisis in Arizona. But last month, other danger signs began to register in the Grand Canyon State. The long-standing relationship Arizona has had with its strongest trade partner, Mexico, ...

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Mesquite Manifesto (second edition)

The recent acrimonious debates about further fortifying barriers all across the 2000 mile US/Mexico boundary line beg larger questions: Just what might make communities more stable, secure and prosperous, while providing more livelihoods as well as wildlife habitat on both sides of the border? What particular natural resources and cultural assets in the region can be utilized to offer better long-term solutions to problems perceived to be border-related?

Within the United States, southern border counties have twice the level of poverty ...

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How the Santa Cruz Valley National Heritage Area Can Bring Us Together to Envision a Common Future

Were you among the many citizens of southern Arizona who were caught off guard upon hearing that a designation for the Santa Cruz National Heritage Area sailed through Congress in late February and was signed into law at the White House on March 12, 2019?

Were you surprised to find yourself living in a 3300 square mile landscape that was nationally-recognized for its distinctive natural, historical and multi-cultural heritage?

Hadn’t it been over a decade since most non-profits as well as all ...

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The spice trade: Selling the scents of luxury

The trade in spices goes back to ancient times: from the Frankincense trails that originated in the Dhofar Highlands in present day Yemen to the Queen of Sheba who travelled to Jerusalem with camels laden with spices. For centuries, spices have captured our imagination far more than any other commodities, and spice traders, from the Arab merchants to the European trading companies of the Age of Discovery, capitalized on the mystique of these luxurious aromatics to create a value chain ...

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Long-desired heritage area designation signed into law

A sweeping public lands bill signed into law by President Trump this week includes the designation of a Santa Cruz Valley National Heritage Area in Santa Cruz and Pima counties, bringing to fruition an effort begun well more than a decade ago to boost cultural preservation, economic development and tourism in the area.

U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Tucson), who represents all of Santa Cruz and parts of Pima county, had sought legislative approval for the NHA designation since 2007. In a ...

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Talk Nerdy. Episode 246. Gary Paul Nabhan.

In this episode of Talk Nerdy, Cara speaks with Dr. Gary Paul Nabhan, founder of the Center for Regional Food Studies at the University of Arizona. They talk about sustainability, conservation, indigenous agriculture, and his newest of several books, “Mesquite: An Arboreal Love Affair.”

Mesquite is a book that will delight mystics and foresters, naturalists and foodies. It combines cutting-edge science with a generous sprinkling of humor and folk wisdom, even including traditional recipes for cooking with ...

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How an appetite for local food fueled Tucson’s economic recovery

Could it be that Tucson is eating its way out of poverty and food insecurity?

Or to ask such a big hairy question in another manner: “How have Tucson’s citizens and businesses fared since the Great Recession devastated our community a decade ago?”

By the beginning of 2009, the Old Pueblo had been hit harder than most other US metro areas by bank and mortgage company scandals. But what, if anything, has helped our community’s economic recovery and changed its course for ...

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