Sabal Palm Audubon Center to be fenced off?

The New York Times ran an article on the Sabal Palm Audubon Center in Brownsville, TX. There is a frightening chance that a border fence may be built north of the sanctuary, thus shutting off access to one of the most famous birding hot-spots in the U.S., and in effect ceding that 500+ acres to Mexico. While some argue that we need a fence to protect us from the illegal housekeeping and lawn care specialists invading our country from Mexico, I hope clearer heads will prevail and stop this project. The tropical palm forest ecosystem is one of the rarest in the country, and really can’t tolerate a major construction project like this fence. As a birder, my feathers get very ruffled at the prospect of being fenced out of one of the more important bird sanctuaries in my own country.

Here are some photos I took at Sabal Palm in April of 2007. I hope we all have the opportunity to visit this place in the future.
Couch's Kingbird
Couch’s Kingbird


Plain Chachalacas and White-tipped Doves


Neotropic Cormorant


White-eyed Vireo

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One Response to Sabal Palm Audubon Center to be fenced off?

  1. On April 28 a Congressional Field Hearing was held in Brownsville, Texas. Titled Walls and Waivers: Expedited Construction of the Southern Border Wall and the Collateral Impacts on Communities and the Environment, it was intended to investigate the impacts that the border wall will have on border communities if it is constructed. Brownsville Diocese Bishop Reymundo Pena, Eagle Pass Mayor Chad Foster, and many other border residents testified, explaining the damage that a border wall would cause to the assembled members of Congress. The committee will continue to accept written testimony until May 16th. This is an important opportunity to inform members of Congress, and to ensure that our voices become part of the official record. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chertoff has announced that since he waived the National Environmental Policy Act there will be no Final Environmental Assessments or Environmental Impact Statements, and it is unclear what will happen to the hundreds of public comments that they received. That makes the comments submitted to members of Congress in connection to the field hearing even more important.

    Here are the guidelines for written submissions to the U.S.Congressional field hearing record. They need to be in by Friday, May 16th.

    1. Head your comments with the hearing name and date: Walls and Waivers: Expedited Construction of the Southern Border Wall and the Collateral Impacts on Communities and the Environment, April 28, 2008.

    2. Do not exceed 10 pages.

    3. No cover page is needed, although your name, title, and the organization that you represent (if you have one), should also be stated at the beginning of your testimony.

    4. Please use typed single-space letter-size (8½ x 11) white paper.

    5. Send via the postal service as they are not equipped to handle mass amounts of e-mail. The mailing address is:
    Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife and Oceans
    Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands
    1324 Longworth House Office Building
    Washington, DC 20515

    6. If you submit attachments or exhibits to your testimony please include them as separate items at the end of your testimony. If attachments are more than 10 pages (in addition to your original testimony) or on paper larger than 8½ x 11, they will not accept them for printing. Instead, you should paraphrase or quote as needed. If including charts, tables, maps, or photographs, they should be included on separate pages, not within the text of a page.

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