The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) replies to our request not to block jaguar movement between the U.S. and Mexico.
We recently wrote to Michael Chertoff, Secretary of DHS, requesting that the agency ensure the movement of jaguars between the U.S. and Mexico by avoiding construction of an impenetrable fence in key wildlife corridors. We received a letter of reply from Gregory Giddens, Executive Director, of DHS’s Secure Border Initiative (click below to read the letter).
The letter argues with rather peculiar logic that because there are few jaguars left in the United States we need not worry about blocking key wildlife travel corridors between the US and Mexico. But how else can jaguars naturally rebuild their numbers in Arizona and New Mexico if the animals are not allowed to disperse into the U.S. from nearby Sonora, Mexico?
Mr. Giddens assures us that DHS will work to minimize impacts to jaguars — but provides no specifics.
In short, the DHS has rejected our request that it allow the movement of jaguars between the U.S. and Mexico by not building a pedestrian-type fence in key wildlife movement corridors along the border.
This means that the decision to go ahead with fencing that will block the jaguar and other wildlife will have to be overturned politically with the arrival of a new president and congress in 2009. You and I, all of us who care about jaguars and other wildlife, indeed have work cut out. Get ready…our voices need to be heard!
Our letter: chertoff_letter6-27-08
DHS reply: dhsreply