Butterfly Conservationists Are Determined To Fight Trump’s Wall

Butterfly conservationists say that construction on Trump's wall will destroy the habitat of butterflies and further endanger rare species.

A butterfly floats over a person's shoulder.
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Butterfly conservationists say that construction on Trump's wall will destroy the habitat of butterflies and further endanger rare species.

There are many groups against Trump’s proposed border wall that have made their voices heard recently. However, perhaps the most surprising group was that of butterfly conservationists, who have their own reasons for fighting the wall. This group believes that construction on the president’s border wall project will destroy of the habitats of endangered butterflies, causing them to die out. The North American Butterfly Association filed a lawsuit to fight the wall effort, according to CNN.

This association has a wide spanning wildlife center just north of the U.S. border in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Known as the National Butterfly Center, the facility is home to over 200 species of butterflies. The complex includes lush gardens, walking trails, and pavilions where visitors can enjoy these species in their natural habitat. They believe that the obtrusive construction so near their facility will disrupt the natural life they have built for the butterflies. Thus, they officially filed the lawsuit against the wall in 2017. The association claimed that the government was trespassing on their property, widening roads, cutting down trees, and destroying the natural habitat.

On Friday, Judge Richard Leon dismissed the lawsuit filed by the conservationists against the border wall, saying their argument just didn’t hold up.

“Unfortunately for the Plaintiff, the Fourth Amendment offers little refuge for unenclosed land near one of the country’s external borders,” he said.

Judge Leon went on to say that it is simply too soon to say that the government will be affecting their facility at this point, as the discussed construction has not yet begun. In addition, the Department of Homeland Security secretary will have the right to overlook some of environmental laws for construction in the area, as the wall is being looked at as a necessary structure that trumps claims such as those of the butterfly conservationists.

Nevertheless, the North American Butterfly Association has not been discouraged by the lawsuit not going their way. They fully intend to continue to fight against the wall, doing whatever necessary to prevent construction. Marianna Trevino Wright, the executive director of the National Butterfly Center, says the battle won’t end here.

“We are going to appeal or refile, absolutely,” she said.

The group also started a GoFundMe page to raise funds to aid in their protection efforts. On the page’s bio, the association states that they believe the wall will not benefit the nation as a whole.

“The issue is not whether butterflies can fly over a wall, but whether private property (farms, businesses, homes) should be seized and destroyed for a project that does not serve the greater good or enhance national security; rather, it pushes the boundaries of Mexico north of the Rio Grande and makes America smaller.”