All of Arizona’s mightiest rivers have been dammed, except one—The San Pedro. The riparian habitat associated with the San Pedro is so important that a special law was enacted in 1988 to protect the San Pedro River and its environs. Congress passed the Arizona-Idaho Conservation Act (AICA) in large part to protect lands of high conservation value in Idaho and Arizona.
In Arizona, the 56,431 acre San Pedro National Riparian Conservation Area (SPNRCA) was established to protect and manage “the riparian area and the aquatic, wildlife, archeological, paleontological, scientific, cultural, educational, and recreational resources in the public lands surrounding the San Pedro River.” The SPNRCA is home to 84 species of mammals, 14 species of fish, 41 species of reptiles and amphibians, 100 species of breeding birds, and 250 species of migrating or wintering birds.
Legislators wrote this law with the intent of protecting the SPNRCA from disturbance by humans. On the use of roads, for example, the law directs that, except in emergencies, the use of motorized vehicles is only allowed on roads specifically designated for such use by the management plan created for SPNRCA. Another provision of the law states that sufficient water must remain in the SPNRCA to fulfill its conservation purposes. And included in the legislation are serious punishments for breaking the rules—a fine of $10,000 and up to one year in prison, or both.
The Arizona-Idaho Conservation Act is one of the 48 federal laws waived to expedite the construction of an impenetrable wall on our southern border (click here for a list of all 48 laws that have been waived). Waiving this law allows the Border Patrol to build roads on the preserve near the border, damaging the soil and plants of this fragile habitat. A border wall is already on both sides of the river and border barriers are put into the river during certain seasons, which can foul, obstruct, or even change its course. Unique riparian habitat crucial to the survival of some threatened or endangered species may now be tromped on or even destroyed, without plan or consequence.
Please contact your U.S. Senators and Representatives (https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members) and let them know that you oppose waiving The Arizona-Idaho Conservation Act to expedite construction of a border wall. Click here if you would like to make a donation to help us fight the border wall.