The planned blasting and removal of 530,000 cubic yards of rock and extensive grading and leveling to allow for a road inside the Otay Mesa Wilderness area in California will leave the area irrevocably damaged while also violating the Wilderness Act of 1964. With little prior notice, the Department of Homeland (DHS) security began work on the road on Dec. 24 in order to allow the continued building of its border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. The Wilderness Society joined other conservation groups in protesting DHS’s move that was orchestrated to attract the least possible amount of national attention.
In addition, Wilderness Society President William H. Meadows had this to say about the planned road: “We are very concerned about the impacts this wall will cause to wilderness values at Otay,” Meadows said. “Wilderness areas are among the last places in the United States that are untrammeled by humans, and we believe they should stay that way.”