The Arizona Trail Would End at Trump’s Border Wall Under a New CBP Plan

Phoenix New Times (May 12, 2020) by Ray Stern

The southern end of the 800-mile Arizona Trail is a wonder of open space running across the international line from the Coronado National Memorial to a vast, desert area of Mexico far from any paved roads.

It could also soon be the site of two miles of Trump’s border wall, along with a calamity of associated roads, lights, and activity, a new bulletin by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency shows.

The public has one week to submit comments on the plan, following an extension of a previous deadline in April.

Advocates of the Arizona Trail hope to convince the feds to make a few changes that might preserve the natural beauty of the area.

“This is not about politics,” Matthew Nelson, executive director of the Arizona Trail Association, told Phoenix New Times. “This is about losing a piece of a nationally significant trail.”

The Arizona Trail, dedicated in 2009 as a National Scenic Trail, crosses some of the most beautiful parts of the state as it takes hikers from Mexico to Utah, or vice-versa. The association’s mission is to protect the trail.

The proposed new barrier near the Arizona Trail is part of CBP’s larger plan to construct 74 miles of new border wall across three counties in Arizona. Other construction has been ongoing in Organ Pipe National Monument with the help of the U.S. Army’s Corps of Engineers. While antagonizing Democrats, Mexicans, Native Americans, migrant advocates, and environmentalists, Trump hopes to have 450 miles of new wall finished by the end of the year.

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