The U.S. Military uses remote areas for training exercises and other activities that are best executed at a distance from the general population. Because military installations are both remote and protected from development, they are often located in areas that contain diverse habitat types like old-growth forests, tall grass prairies, and vernal pool wetlands, havens for a stunning array of plants and animals.
Congress wanted to ensure that these special habitats and their wild plants and animals were protected from damage, disturbance, or destruction. The Sikes Act was passed in 1960 to do just that—it required the Defense Department to develop and implement Integrated Natural Resources Management Plans (INRMPs) for 380 military installations in the U.S. These management plans have successfully balanced protecting ecosystems with meeting the needs of the military. Each plan is unique and details how endangered and invasive species will be handled, as well as fish, migrating birds, wetlands and possible environmental contaminants.
The Sikes Act is one of the 48 federal laws waived to expedite construction of a border wall (click here for a list of all 48 laws that have been waived). In Arizona, this waiver was used so that a border wall could be built across the Barry M. Goldwater Range (BMGR), a military installation close to the border with Mexico. The management plan carefully crafted for the BMGR by the U.S. Air Force and state and local wildlife agencies is now moot in the vicinity of the border wall, and parts of the ecosystem have been irrevocably damaged.
Please contact your U.S. Senators and Representatives (https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members) and let them know that you oppose waiving The Sikes 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.