“Border Bill” Waives Environmental Laws, Puts Wildlife and Public Land at Risk

Fishing in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Minnesota (Flickr: Greg Walters)
This week, the House of Representatives will vote on a package of public lands bills, including one highly controversial bill introduced by Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT) that puts wildlife and wildlife habitat near our country’s borders in jeopardy.

The provision, known as the “Border Bill” in H.R. 2578 creates a ‘non-compliance’ zone that waives more than a dozen bedrock conservation and environmental laws on federal public lands within 100 miles of any U.S. land border. The laws the Customs and Border Protection could circumvent and ignore include the Endangered Species Act, Wilderness Act and National Environmental Policy Act.

Waiving these critical environmental protections could expose wildlife habitat to road construction, fencing, air strips, and other disruptions—permanently tarnishing and altering millions of acres wildlife depend on to thrive.

The 100 mile zone includes some of our most cherished public lands: National Parks that attract millions of visitors each year, Wilderness Areas that contain some of the best fishing our country has to offer, and National Forests that are sanctuaries for wildlife. See some of these special places in the map below.

Conservationists, hunters, anglers, and communities on both borders are opposing this far reaching piece of legislation. Even the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) views the bill as unnecessary and reckless.

Are any of your favorite National Parks or Wilderness Areas in the 100-mile zone?

Take Action Speak up for elk and other wildlife near our country’s borders by telling  your Representative to Vote NO on HR 2578.


Land impacted by the Border Bill (PEW Environment Group)