Border wall will let wildlife pass

A settlement requires openings for animals to move between the U.S. and Mexico

The Department of Homeland Security has agreed to create openings for wildlife in the U.S.-Mexico border wall. The agreement is part of a settlement in a 4-year-old lawsuit with environmentalists and others over the controversial barrier.

The agreement calls for passages to accommodate jaguars (Panthera onca), black bears (Ursus americanus), Sonora pronghorns (Antilocapra americana sonoriensis) and small animals. The agency also agrees to open stormwater gates to benefit wildlife. Gates may be closed temporarily if necessary, “wildlife-friendly infrastructure” can be installed near the passages to detect people trying to pass through them.

The deal also includes nearly $1.2 billion for mitigation projects.

Read more from the Arizona Capitol Times.

Header Image: The U.S.-Mexico border wall, shown here under construction near Ajo, Arizona, in 2020, will include openings for wildlife to pass. Credit: Gillfoto