In late 2022, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey ordered the illegal construction of sections of ineffective but ecologically disastrous border wall made out of shipping containers. Then, in response to a federal order as he prepared to leave office, he ordered that wall torn down. Protesters on the ground helped in a big way, by forcing contractors to stop work on the project.
We talk to Melissa Del Bosque, co-founder of the Border Chronicle project, a podcast and email newsletter reporting on border issues from Tucson, AZ. Our interview is accompanied by audio recorded on the scene of the illegal border container wall by Patrick Donnelly of the Center for Biological Diversity.
Links we promised in the show
Here's a sample of Border Chronicle's work on the Border-Industrial Complex, in a piece by Todd Miller.
Check out the Sky Island Alliance's website.
Then, Chris and Alicia discuss upcoming episodes of the podcast and thank you listeners for your support.
Support us!: https://90milesfromneedles.com/patreon
See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
[0:00] We are on the southeastern Arizona border with Mexico near Coronado National Monument on US Forest Service land.
[0:13] And we've come upon some private contractors employed by the state of Arizona violating federal law and illegally building a border wall made of shipping containers along the border with Mexico.
And so right ahead of me here are a couple of large cats that are moving shipping containers into place. And so far there's about 400 shipping containers that have been deployed.
[0:47] Did you hear what that one guy said? What?
[0:51] He said I've sent a bunch of people to the hospital, I could send a couple more. Oh Jesus. Just as we were coming in. I got it on video too.
[1:22] Time for 90 Miles from Needles, the Desert Protection Podcast with your hosts, Chris Clarkeand Alicia Pike. I'm Chris Clarke I'm Alicia Pike.
[1:28] And we are listening, as are you, to some audio our friend Patrick Donnelly recorded for us in early November of 2022 down in the Coronado National
monument area in southern Arizona, Cochise County, where Governor Doug Ducey had directed state contractors to illegally build a border wall out of shipping containers. We are really privileged to have an interview with.
Melissa Del Bosque of the Border Chronicle. She's been covering border issues for quite some time and I got to say I'm really glad that we're covering a border issue is personally very important to me.
And I think it's something that a lot of desert activists turn a blind eye to. I'm not sure whether that's because it's a third rail politically or because it's so tied up in national politics, it's really been politicized.
But honestly, I think it's really one of the big ethical issues of our time.
I feel like the border issue is definitely one of those global atrocities that since time immemorial we've been trying to protect and defend our territories and it's just it's grown.
It's grown to the point where we're restricting migration that naturally needs to happen for a wide variety of reasons. So all the reasons that people need to migrate, it's very complicated. There's no easy answer.
[2:58] There's no right answer. We're deep in it. It's messy.
Yeah, I think I might have a right answer. Oh?
A lot of what we've seen in the last 30 years is the result of deliberately closing down the easiest ports of entry in San Diego and Nogales and El Paso and forcing people out into the inaccessible wilds as a deterrent to the migrating. And it hasn't been a deterrent. People have been.
[3:26] Crossing and dying in huge numbers since 1996. Operation Gatekeeper, it was called during the the Clinton administration. The idea was close down these easy ways to walk across like in San Diego.
Smuggler's Gulch being the main course. You know those signs that used to be on the on I-5 down by the border with They're still there with the family. Yeah, there's a father holding the hand of the mother who's holding the hand of two children and they're all just flying across the highway.
Never actually seen that happen by the way after more than 10,000 days of living in San Diego and crossing the border with regularity. My dentist is in Tijuana and I've been going there since I was 10, so never once have I seen that scene. It's a racist sign if you ask me,
but it's degrading. At any rate, the humane course I think would be to let people in.
Maybe you have programs to keep them from getting abused or... But that's what I mean by that's not not the right, no there's no right answer, because there's a huge crowd of people out there who are gonna say no.
[4:33] That's not the right answer and that's why there's no right answers. It's that kind of an issue where any concessions or problem solving that's going to try and happen is going to meet opposition.
[4:43] We're familiar with that with desert projects, right? Yeah, yeah, that's true. I think that's more there's no feasible answer. Right, nobody's all going to agree ever on this one. But I think the
morally right answer is for me and feel free to disagree with us by calling 760-392-1996 and telling us that we're completely wrong.
We might air your comment on the podcast if it's entertaining, but my sense is I've worked with a lot of people who are here without documentation over the years.
I've known a lot of people who are here without documentation, and increasingly we see a lot of people who are fleeing horrible conditions at home, and this is very different for them,
and I think it's clear that we need to find them some place safe to be, and we have room.
But for the people that the original border wall was aimed at, which is the people who are coming here to work.
[5:40] I don't think that most of them would prefer to stay here permanently for the rest of their lives and hiding. My experience with the friends that I've met is that they would love to come up here and work and go home for Christmas, go home for their mom's birthday, be able to go back and forth.
And the reason that they stay here is that it's so damn hard to get across.
[6:02] Yeah. And fine with me if they stay here. The people I've met are fantastic, but people should be able to to come here and work. People should be able to come here and create art and.
Things like that and people should be able to spend time with their families whenever they want. Migration is just such a natural part of being alive no.
Matter what you are and I feel like everything you just described you having the ability to go where you are called to to get food, safety, create, contribute,
whatever you feel pulled to, you should be able to go.
There shouldn't be political reasons or racist reasons why you're not allowed to seek a better life for your family or change your life up and move to another country.
I think that if we pay attention to animals, perhaps we can incorporate some foresight into our future border decisions.
Scientists have been documenting animals are trending on a northward migration.
So for me, that immediately indicates what about climate refugees? This is going to be the next wave of migration issues is that people are going to need to leave because there's no more water.
It's too hot. Resources are gone. And that's a whole package of immigration issues that are coming.
We can't close the borders to the ocelots and the jaguars. We can't close the borders to people who are dying.
[7:27] Why is that fair? Why to being alive, to put a wall and say you can't cross only if you have a lot of money. It's easy for you then. You can just fly right in.
It breaks down the natural order of things and that that's what bothers me the most about it. I know it's politically charged, I know there's so many issues under the border,
but for me I always see it as this natural stunting that we've put in place. We think we need to segregate ourselves and we self-segregate, but migration is just so natural on so many levels.
[8:01] Yeah, and of course part of the politicization is that the conservative wing of the political establishment in this country has really seized on this as a divisive issue that can drive.
Support for their overall agenda, preying on, let's just call it what it is, preying on the racist sentiments of a lot of people in the United States. And I think that conservatives really
don't care all that much about the actual immigration. Oh, being born and raised in San Diego, immigration has been in my face since I can remember. And there was racism in my family
about it for sure. Derogatory terms being thrown around to describe them, fear being built into me that these were dangerous people, that I should be very concerned for my life and safety around
them. And it didn't stick with me very long, it was something that I learned from listening to family members but I unlearned it very quickly because it didn't feel right. Felt very manufactured. Once you get to know people, that's not, none of that shit's true at all.
But yeah, just flooded with memories of riding my bicycle and passing one guy on a bike, just each of us on the sidewalk. And I was shaking. I was terrified just to pass a Mexican on the
street. I'm embarrassed to say this shit out loud, but this stuff happened in my past. I was a very young child who had only been listening to what she had been taught, but holy cow. And a lot of my family members that I heard that from are either dead or don't hold those beliefs anymore.
[9:29] Which is motivating. These antiquated racist beliefs can evolve for the better and I'm all for that.
[9:38] The issue has been politicized and regardless of which administration is currently in power, there remains pressure to fortify the border against this perceived threat.
This perceived threat, indeed. And among those moves to fortify the border was the abortive attempt by the former governor of Arizona, happy to say former governor of Arizona, Doug Ducey, to build a completely theatrical,
completely useless but highly destructive fortified border wall out of stacks of shipping containers on public land that he had no legal access to.
[10:20] And journalist Melissa Del Bosque of Border Chronicle, a very useful and highly entertaining podcast and email newsletter coming out of Tucson, Arizona has been down there.
And she was kind enough to join us in our virtual recording studio.
Now let's go to that interview.
[10:45] We have with us in the studio here, Melissa Del Bosque, who is a longtime reporter on border issues, and half of the wonderful podcast and email newsletter, The Border Chronicle.
Melissa, thanks for joining us at 90 Miles from Needles. Yeah, thank you for having me.
There's a whole lot going on in the border realm in the last few weeks, even after the Trump administration is out.
Construction on the border wall still continues either illegally or through deceptive but nonetheless legal means.
[11:20] I wonder if you would have some thoughts about recent developments in particular with the border in the state of Arizona and events that have gone on there which have been actually pretty interesting.
Yeah, I spent the majority of my career about 20 years writing about the Texas Mexico border.
And different iterations of the federal border wall that's been built under the various presidents since George W. Bush and have now relocated to Arizona. And it's interesting to see the
differences between the two border states because almost all the land is private in Texas, whereas in Arizona, you have this really breathtaking public land that's managed a lot of it by the Forest Service, for instance.
And with the sort of all this rhetoric around there being an invasion at the border that's been repeated ad nauseum now.
Since the Trump era started by extremist Republicans, what's happened now is that politicians have started building their own illegal border walls, which happened here recently.
Also, Bannon and other Trump sympathetic folks built a private border wall in Texas, which is also illegal and is now falling down and a threat to the ecosystem there and the Rio Grande.
[12:50] And so then here in Arizona, the outgoing Republican governor, Doug Ducey, who's left in January, he spent $200 million building these double stacked shipping container walls.
Some of them in Yuma, which are filling in gaps of Trump's 30 foot wall because there were gaps there.
Fox 10's Stephanie Bennett joins us live in studio tonight with the details.
[13:18] Yeah, Yuma was first on his list. Now he's moving on to Cochise County, completely defying the federal government's request to remove them and to not add any more. Now this comes after a lawsuit that the governor filed last Friday.
And I guess what a lot of people...
[13:34] Don't understand or hear about is that a lot of times when these gaps are left in these walls, it's because there are significant hydraulic considerations. These are desert washes that
get quite a lot of rain and or the ranchers or farmers need access to the water supply on the river. Often those gaps are there for a reason because they're going to build a gate at a later
time or whatever. So Governor Ducey stacked these shipping containers there saying that he could not wait for the federal government to fill those gaps. And these were also gaps
where a lot of asylum seekers were presenting themselves to border agents and asking for asylum. And this is because of Title 42, which is this very old public health statute, which.
Got enacted by Trump in 2020 to close down the ports of entry to asylum seekers, citing the pandemic as the reason for doing this.
So then that forces migrants, people who are going to ask for asylum to cross between ports of entry.
They can't just go on the bridge to where the agents are. They have to cross rivers or they have to cross deserts. And so they were presenting themselves at these gaps.
[14:49] And then even worse, Ducey started building this double-stacked shipping container wall in the Coronado National Forest in the San Rafael Valley, which is a sort of historic.
Ranching area and also one of the last sort of migratory corridors between the US and Mexico for endangered species, including jaguars and ocelots.
And so it's a beautiful area. breathtaking when you see it. It's this large expansive grass valley with very high mountains and very pretty and not a lot of...
One of the nonprofits that I've spoken with here in Tucson is called Sky Island Alliance. And they have cameras, wildlife cameras, all throughout that valley, because what they're doing is monitoring the migratory corridor.
[15:43] To see what kind of animals are passing through there between the two countries.
And they've been monitoring that now for the last couple of years. And they say on their cameras that they hardly almost ever see human beings.
Ever see human beings other than Border Patrol or the contractors who are building the shipping container well.
And we'll link to Sky Island Alliance's website in our show notes. They are doing a lot of very interesting work and definitely big fans of theirs.
[16:13] What are some of the other animals on that list that they see often moving through there? Pretty neat. If you go to their website, they have a lot of wildlife cam footage where they show the different sort of animals that are going. They've got deer, they've got.
coatimundi, which are really wild animals. They look like a raccoon and weasel mixed together.
They're pretty neat. And of course, they've got mountain lions and bears. And so it's an important.
[16:44] Corridor for wildlife that need to migrate. And with climate change, it's pushing animals north. So they really need these areas where they can travel back and forth and they can find water and they can find food. So when the governor started building this shipping container wall,
it was especially devastating for conservationists and people studying endangered wildlife.
And presumably there was some direct impact on the landscape itself. The shipping containers weren't just dropped in by helicopter and presumably there was a sort of a path of destruction along the way from hauling them in and hauling in crews, etc.
[17:28] Yeah, so that so the company that got the contract is called Ashbritt, Ashbritt Incorporated and they're a disaster remediation firm and they're based in Florida. They have They have given significant contributions to both Democrats.
And Republicans, but in recent years, largely to Republicans, they've given to some like a Trump super PAC.
They've given to the Republican Governors Association, of which Doug Ducey is the co-chair, and he's the former governor of Arizona.
And Republican Governors Association's given significant funding to Ron DeSantis, significant funding to Ron DeSantis, who's just reelected as governor of Florida and is the
presidential front runner for the GOP. It's a fairly, it's a company that's got money, political ties. And so they got this contract to place shipping containers in the Coronado National Forest.
[18:27] And to see actually filed a lawsuit against the federal government saying that Arizona had the the right with these shipping containers there because it's a strip that is
referred to as the Roosevelt Reservation, which was established as a 60-foot wide strip along the federal border line that was established actually before Arizona even became a state.
And so Deuce turned around and argued that, no, it actually belongs to Arizona and it was never a federal land. And of course, the DOJ was like, how can you say that when it was established before Arizona was even actually a state. So he didn't really have any legal bearing.
[19:11] There to be able to place the shipping containers there, but he did it anyway. So basically he did it illegally. And what conservationists are really disappointed by was the fact that
the Forest Service, which manages that land, didn't step in and they didn't stop the placement of the shipping containers. So these contractors came in with these army surplus trucks. They
hauling in these big shipping containers and they just started like clear cutting all of this really critical habitat and protected forest land and placing the shipping containers down. So I went down there to just see what was going on and there was going to be a protest with local residents.
What happened is that local residents started going down there, seeing what was going on and really sounding the alarm to environmental groups and to just anybody who cared about.
This beautiful public land. I went down there for the first protest that was and they had these big.
[20:08] Front loaders and they were tossing around these shipping containers. A lot of the shipping containers look pretty heavily used. So another question was, have these been hauling chemicals,
anything hazardous? So you're and you're also placing these in a fragile environment.
[20:25] And it was real dusty and there were just piles of debris and oak trees that they had run over. And it was honestly when I saw it I was pretty furious because I had never seen something so sloppily and really aggressively done for no reason.
Because this isn't a place where there are a lot of migrants or people passing through at all.
And anyways, shipping containers are not going to keep anybody out. You can climb right over them.
It was purely this political theater and done for what? I don't know because Ducey was already on his way out and there's now a new governor in office, a Democrat, Katie Hobbs.
So it just seemed like a huge waste and incredibly.
[21:12] Devastating for the environment, for the wildlife there. So what ended up happening with the locals having called out the troops, so to speak, from conservation community?
That's the uplifting part of the story. So the idea was Ducey was going to build 10 miles of this wall.
And this is in the southeastern corner of Arizona along the border. There is where this area is in Cochise County, which has a sheriff that's very politically aligned with Ducey.
The neighboring sheriff, Sheriff Hathaway from Santa Cruz County said that if the shipping containers entered his jurisdiction that he was going to find them for illegal dumping.
Santa Cruz County Sheriff David Hathaway says for the last four days protesters have been showing up at the border preventing crews from doing their work in constructing the shipping container border walls. Hathaway says he supports those efforts. He calls Governor Ducey's order to use the shipping.
Containers as a border wall illegal dumping telling Fox 10 he will arrest construction crews and security personnel if they reach Santa Cruz County. The area where they're placing the containers
it is entirely on federal land on national forest land it's not state land it's not private land and the federal government has said this is illegal activity so just the same way if I saw somebody doing an assault or a homicide or a vehicle theft on public land within my county.
[22:40] I would charge that person with a crime.
[22:43] He wanted nothing to do with these shipping containers because they're also just a hazard. And they're hauling them out now. The trucks often go at very fast speeds with these containers.
[22:53] And these are on forest roads, small roads that don't take a lot of traffic. And so the people that do live there say that they've been run off the road and it's real dangerous.
[23:14] Holy Jesus!
[23:17] So when people started showing up to protest, once people started seeing it and it started getting out, because this is not a particularly easy place to get to, you've got to go down these
very rugged dirt roads to access the site. So there was very little media coverage because it was hard to find out what was going on and it was hard to get there. But with this first protest that was really spearheaded by a woman named Kate Scott who has the Madrian Archipelago Wildlife Center.
Which is where they rehabilitate raptors and she does a lot of really great rehabilitation work for wildlife. So she really sounded the alarm and got local neighbors to come down. And then she sent
out a press release asking press to report on what was happening. So we showed up down there and the contractors had farmed private security and
They were not happy that people were there to protest and okay. And other people had these big banners that said stop do see boondoggle and they had all
these protest signs and they just started blocking the trucks that were bringing in the shipping containers.
[24:28] So it was pretty intimidating because these are big army surplus trucks and they were driving really fast and the contractors were not happy that we were there.
And then at one point, the private security called the Cochise County Sheriff. So then about six, I think, squad cars from the sheriff's office came in a convoy and we thought, oh, this doesn't look good.
Are they going to arrest us? But it was such a bizarre jurisdictional issue because the state was there illegally erecting these shipping container walls on federal land. So the state was not supposed to be there.
And so we were real curious, what's the sheriff going to do? And the Foreign Service never showed up.
Like their law enforcement didn't show up to do anything.
[25:14] So it was pretty funny because what happened, me and about three other or four other journalists just ended up interviewing the deputies from the sheriff's office.
It was their worst nightmare. We just circled them and peppered them with questions. And there wasn't really anything they could do.
I think they realized we can't arrest these people because we're states not supposed to be here doing this. We don't have any jurisdiction here.
So we just kept asking them questions until they went and checked it out. And it was a peaceful protest.
So it wasn't really much they could do. So eventually they left. And then once the protesters figured out that if they were present, the contractors stopped I guess because of liability issues and other things.
[26:01] They were like, wow, it doesn't take many of us, maybe a dozen or less people to just shut this whole thing down.
So from then on, they started organizing and getting people down there on a roster to just inhabit the construction site.
[26:19] And they set up a camp. They called it Camp Ocelot. It started to snow. It got really cold. and people still stuck it out there in the snow and tents, which was really cool.
And they ground it to a halt. And so the state got three and a half miles of the 10 miles built before the protesters shut it down.
[26:41] So honestly, they saved the state of Arizona taxpayers millions of dollars because these contractors from Florida were getting paid by the container by them.
And it was $100 million slated for that 10 miles of shipping container. Wow.
[26:58] Which comes out to some astronomical sum of money, even more than what Trump spent per mile for his 30 foot.
[27:07] Great wall that he would call it. Yeah, so they shut it down. And then the Justice Department came back to Ducey. And at that point, he had a week left in office.
And they said, you have no legal bearing. This is all this is illegal. And you're going to get sued. So he said, OK, we'll take him down. We'll take down the walls.
So basically, every a Republican is the first elected official to take down a border wall.
Oh, that's fantastic. Which is really, I don't think something he probably wants. on his resume, but he is the first elected official to actually take down a border wall.
So now- We have to make sure that's what he was remembered for. Yeah, I know. So now it's another almost $80 million to remove the walls.
[27:51] So the walls in Yuma came down in about a week because that was only about 130 containers. But they've got hundreds of these containers that they're still removing in the Coronado National Forest.
So that's ongoing now probably until the middle of February.
[28:09] So all in all, this boondoggle cost about $200 million putting up these shipping containers and now taking them down.
[28:19] When did they start putting up the shipping containers in the forest area? At the end of October.
Okay. Yeah. And then they shut it down about mid December, early December.
This during a time of critical animal movement? I would assume so, yeah, because it was starting to get cold and migration was happening. And yeah, this is leading up to the midterm election.
And it was just a mess. But yeah, but now it's coming down. Environmental groups now are focusing on the remediation efforts. And they're trying to monitor the damage that's
been done by all the clear cutting and the road widening and then the leveling of hills to place these shipping containers because it's very hilly
terrain. I've seen a couple of different iterations of attempts to seal the border from one group of crossers or another from the vehicle barriers and organ pipe that went in in like 2006.
And just, there's like a palimpsest of damage from each of these successive attempts.
And so I got to imagine that the aftermath of the, the shipping containers version of the border wall has got to be pretty intense.
[29:41] Yeah, with those federal border walls are made out of these steel bollard poles and there is some small gaps so that some animals can get through them. But with these shipping
container walls, there were no gaps. And where there were gaps, they were welding these pieces of sheet metal on there to try to fill the gaps. And it just looked like a junkyard because
they're trying to place these shipping containers tightly against one another, but they're on these hills. So it just looked ridiculous and really poorly conceived and planned.
[30:17] And also just really devastating for the wildlife because they could not get through it because they were blocking even the smallest of gaps with these pieces of sheet metal. So I know like some
of the people who were camping down there and protesting had photos in the snow of like animal tracks leading up to the shipping container wall and then doubling back because they couldn't get
through. So yeah, it was an especially destructive iteration of this border wall madness that the country has been engaged in now for the last few decades.
Yeah. I'd love to have you tell us about Border Chronicle. What's going on there? What's Border Chronicle about? Yeah, thanks for asking. I think like I said in
the beginning, I'm a long-time border journalist. I've been writing about the border for about 20 years and mostly focused on the Texas-Mexico border but
I'm now here in Tucson and really thrilled to be learning all these new things about the Arizona border which is really beautiful. My co-founder is a fellow border journalist named Todd Miller who's lived in the Sonoran Desert for about 20 years and written about the border here on the Arizona-Mexico border.
So we cover the entire border from California to Texas.
[31:39] I think because we've been doing this for so long, we've seen just this huge hole in coverage that just never really seems to get covered and we.
[31:48] Talk about the border constantly, but it's as this sort of political backdrop. It doesn't involve actually the people who live in the border. It doesn't typically involve issues that are important to border communities.
In these big national political discussions that are always hashed out over the border, I feel like people in the US feel like they hear about the border all the time, but it's still incredibly confusing to try to figure out what is going on.
So we really focus a lot on context and history and border news from a border perspective, from the perspective of the people who are passing through the borderlands or who live there,
because then you can really get to the true issues.
It's not necessarily what Washington says it is. It's how it plays out on the ground is what we're interested in, how it truly impacts people in border communities.
[32:44] We're on a platform called Substack and it's an email newsletter that goes out twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays to subscribers.
And then we also do a podcast twice a month where we talk to people who are involved in some way with the borderlands, whether they're an artist or an immigrant or an activist or a policymaker.
We just talk to people about the border.
We're really enjoying it because we're finally getting to do the stories that we want to do that we think will resonate in border communities.
[33:20] I read a couple of your articles on the border and it just seems like there's a bigger thematic tie in. Humans have politicized the border, clearly, and it seems to me that we've just completely forgotten that human migration is a natural part of how we got here.
We've been moving around in order to always stay in the best conditions since time and memorial and only in recent history have we just set down roots and that's where we live.
On a global scale, we really shut down borders and we shut down people's ability to move freely and that can boil down to some socioeconomic issues. Rich people can move more freely than poor people.
You make the key point that we always make is that borders are really for people who don't have money. They impact, if you're rich, you can fly right over the border and go wherever you want. That wall is for people who don't have money and it's devastating also for animals.
And we already have a huge extinction crisis and climate change disruption. And by building these barriers, we're furthering extinction.
And unfortunately, walls are going up globally.
[34:33] We have more walls now being built than we had before the Berlin Wall came down. So it's a global movement, this wall building.
And it's also coupled with the growth of fascism as well and authoritarianism, which we've seen growing in this country.
And it's also an issue in other countries where these walls are going up, which is also tied to climate displacement and to this huge influx of people
who have been displaced who are now migrating around the world. So unfortunately, politicians are responding to the climate displacement by fear-mongering and by building walls.
And then of course, unfortunately, there's a huge global industry behind this border surveillance and wall building. We call it the border security industrial complex. It's a multi-billion dollar
business, a lot of people get rich off of it, a lot of elected officials get rich off of it. There's a huge incentive for them to keep that going and also expand detention facilities. We also like to make that global connection as well because many of the companies.
[35:41] That build these walls and build these detention facilities are American companies or Israeli companies and they're companies that use this template all around the world. We like to make those connections in that context that we're not just here in a bubble.
Because I think in the United States, we tend to look at ourselves as alone in this issue and not in relation to many other countries around the world who have similar issues that we do.
For instance, Todd Miller, who is the co-founder of the Border Chronicle, is in Africa right now reporting on the border there, where US border patrol go over and train border patrol in Kenya to guard their borders.
So we have US Border Patrol training other countries how to enforce their borders with many unfortunate side effects of that as we've seen with abuses committed by Border Patrol here in the United States.
[36:42] And we're definitely looking forward to seeing what he writes based on that experience. We will link to your recent writing on the Border Industrial Complex in our show notes. It's some really important work there.
Yeah, thanks so much.
[36:56] Listeners, please reach out to the Border Chronicle, take a listen to the podcast, subscribe to the email newsletter, and toss some money towards Todd and Melissa as they do some really important work.
There is a question that we ask everybody we interview for reasons that will be immediately obvious given the times that we live in, but what keeps you going?
You work on some really bleak issues, so it's got to be a tough beat. What keeps you going?
Well, you know, they say journalism is the first draft of history and we want to get it right so that when people go back and they look at this history, they look at what happened during the Trump era, or why did the United States start building these border walls.
[37:41] That we want it to be accurately reported and we want it to be there with the context and the history and we want to name names who was responsible for making these decisions and why did they make these decisions.
Because unfortunately a lot of the coverage is not fully reported out. It's not enough explanation.
So we like to draw those connections so that people can understand in future generations what happened and hopefully not repeat their mistakes.
But I think in the US, we're pretty good at repeating our mistakes.
But I get some satisfaction out of feeling like I got it right. And the people who are responsible for the mess are clearly named and identified. Nice. Yeah.
Melissa Del Bosque, thank you for joining us. Yeah, thank you so much for having me.
[38:59] But we'd like to give a shout out to people that have joined our group of supporters on Patreon or through other means. We love you guys.
Our most recent supporters since the last time we listed them in episode one of season two are Halle Kohn, Eva, and Constance Shields.
[39:20] And then, of course, a huge thanks to Catherine Powell, who went thoroughly old school and declined to use any of our online means to send us money and instead sent me a check.
For the podcast. A generous check. Inside a greeting card that had a beautiful painting of a roadrunner on it. That is Sirius style. Nice. Also on the topic of our financial support,
we have a new avenue for that which is actually more cost effective than Patreon and it's called Give Butter which is a very strange name but details will be in our show notes and on our.
Donation page at 90MilesFromNeedles.com slash donate. Butter us up. There you go. Thank you to.
[40:10] Fox 10 News and Phoenix for their coverage of the shipping container border wall which we excerpted under fair use guidelines. We appreciate their coverage of the matter. And special thanks to
Patrick Donnelly who is a long time good friend and the Great Basin Director for the Center for Biological Diversity. Past and future guest on this show will be talking to him and other experts.
On the campaign to save the team's buckwheat from lithium mining in Nevada. And huge thanks to to Melissa Del Bosque of Border Chronicle for spending time with us.
Highly recommend their podcast and their newsletter. Check out our show notes for details how to find them.
[40:52] And we will be including an episode of their podcast as one of the episodes in this season that we think you'll be interested in just to give them a little bit more exposure and hope you enjoy it.
[41:04] What do we have in the way of upcoming episodes, Alicia? Oh boy, I'm working on a good one.
Wonder Valley is just east of us here and they are facing some interesting development out there that the community is not too happy about.
So we're going to be reporting on that and how that's being handled.
That seems to be something that really is becoming more and more commonplace throughout the desert. I mean, especially in our home territory around Joshua Tree, there's more projects that sticks available to shake out them.
Gee, you'd think we're running out of land or something. Hmm.
[41:41] We're gonna be covering a lot in the way of desert solar. There's just a huge amount of different projects coming our way, some of which are better than others. Just put it that way. Avi Kwa Ame, Avi Kwa Ame is a nice fun one where it looks like we're gonna be seeing that one get some good special status.
Yep. We can celebrate something there.
[41:58] New national monument in southernmost Nevada on a landscape that is not only incredibly beautiful and crucial in my life, it was a place where I landed with the biggest of my frequent midlife crises,
but also vitally important to cultural continuity for a bunch of river tribes, just a beautiful place, and some fascinating people working on it, and big shout out to the Mystery Ranch folks thinking about you.
What else? We are still planning a trip out there. Yeah, we need to get that done. Yeah, there's just all kinds of stuff happening in the desert.
And hey, if you've got a topic you want us to cover, let us know.
[42:35] You can reach us at chris at 90milesfromneedles.com or Alicia at 90milesfromneedles.com.
Or if you are old school, you can call 760-392-1996.
[42:51] Or if you are not old school, you can take that number and text us.
Hit us up. This episode was produced by me. And me. And by the 100 now supporters of this podcast.
Very appreciative of that. And looking to multiply that number by about 10 before the end of 2023. Thanks folks. This is Chris Clarke This is Alicia Pike. Try not to die today.