There is no need to turn this thread into a political debate. What is at issue here is alteration of habitat and possible loss of native flora and fauna. There are ways of doing construction to minimize the impact on the environment. That's what is being discussed here; not the intended purpose of the project.
You're right, this is not about a political debate. This forum is not about politics. If it were we'd be fighting 90% of the time. This is a NAFHA forum and about herps and their habitats, herpers, and what we can do for them. I'm purposely leaving out any of my political slants.
One reason this strand should elicit some comments is because the area in question should be close to the hearts of many AZ herpers and folks who visit our state looking for herps and other animals that are close to the border, and as such can be very interesting due to their Mexican affinities. I believe, Klawnskale, that you have kept Oxybelis, one of the cool and interesting herps of the area.
One of the main geographical features of the area, known to most everyone who has ever been to AZ, is Pena Blanca Lake. There is also a stream which feeds into the lake from the Pajarito Mountains. I'm not sure if the construction is west or east of here, probably east due to the distance, but there are some possibilities. One of my concerns of this and future projects is which canyons they will be using.
Last year NAFHA/AZ did a trip to this area along the border. We stopped at the stream that feeds Pena Blanca. I immediately noticed the crayfish in the stream. The stream was bloated due to monsoon rains and was just packed with crayfish. What an ecological disaster, because they are not native and are totally devastating to the native fauna. Is this due to man's intrusions into the area? My point is that our intrusions alter habitat and alters the ecosystem and often sets it up for invasions of alien species.
PS: This strand is unique in the sense that there are sensitive species involved and as such sensitive habitat. Normally we don't talk about sensitive habitat, so we don't draw attention to these types of areas or give information to the wrong people. Thus, I'm trying to be careful about the locations I mention. This can be difficult to do sometimes. Pena Blanca is a very well known feature of the area and a place everyone who comes to the area should visit.