Press Release Feb 15, 2019

Even with Funding Deal, Trump Declares National Emergency, Introducing New Threat to National Parks

Construction of a border wall in biodiverse areas like the Rio Grande Valley would damage delicate park landscapes and block wildlife migration.

Washington, DC – Today, as President Trump signed the government funding bill just hours before the deadline to avoid another government shutdown, he simultaneously declared a national emergency at the southern border of the United States. In an unprecedented move, he plans to reallocate money, without congressional approval, to pay for construction of a wall at the southern border.

NPCA has long argued that the construction of a border wall in biodiverse areas like the Rio Grande Valley would damage delicate park landscapes and block wildlife migration. Species like the Sonoran pronghorn use important land corridors located in the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument to travel back and forth across the U.S.-Mexican border. Construction of vehicle barriers, walls and fences along the border threatens the habitat of the pronghorn and its ability to move freely.

Statement by Theresa Pierno, President and CEO for National Parks Conservation Association

“While lawmakers compromised to avoid another costly and damaging government shutdown, the administration has chosen to push a false narrative about an emergency at our southern border—when a wall that divides communities, blocks wildlife migration, disrupts water flow and destroys delicate park ecosystems is not the solution to border security and immigration challenges. Additional border wall construction would devastate some of our country’s most treasured places, such as Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument and Big Bend National Park by fragmenting sensitive landscapes, walling off wildlife habitats and eroding the region’s ecotourism, further hurting local communities that rely on these places for their livelihoods.”


About National Parks Conservation Association Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its 1.3 million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s most iconic and inspirational places for future generations. For more information, visit

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