04/02/2017

Texas Ranchers, Landowners Join Against Trump’s Border Wall

Bud Kennedy, Star-Telegram

FORT WORTH—President Trump's border wall is dividing him from some Texas conservatives.

Ranchers and landowners from the Texas Wildlife Association announced their opposition to a Texas-Mexico border wall last week, supporting some new barriers but not a proposed 151-mile-long, 30-foot-high stretch of border wall through Big Bend.

Only a president from New York could think we need to spend public money building a 30-foot-high wall where nature already built a 1,000-foot-high mountain canyon.

“We just see so many problems,” said David Yeates, a banker, rancher and chief executive of the wildlife association, which represents 10,000 landowners managing 40 million acres of ranches and hunting leases.

The TWA’s statement warns that a wall would result in the loss of private property, “interrupt landowner/livestock/wildlife access to water from the Rio Grande, harm property values, and impair critical wildlife movement corridors for species such as black bears, mountain lions, white-tailed and mule deer, and desert bighorn sheep, among others.”

Some of the wall will be built as much as a mile inside Texas to save on construction costs or avoid floodplain, leaving homes, ranchland, watering holes, golf courses, nature preserves and anything along the river stranded past a Border Patrol gate.

“Does somebody want to buy a ranch that has a big wall across it and property stranded on the other side, and no access to the river, which is the only water in some places?” Yeates asked.

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