Government contractors prep for border security at National Butterfly Center in Mission
The National Butterfly Center in Mission may be the site that sees the first phase of construction for a border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
National Butterfly Center executive director Mariana Treviño-Wright says she saw government-contracted crews last Thursday working to clear a path to build, what she says, looks like a patrol road on the center’s land.
“You can see the work they had begun to do here--mowing our grass, clearing land,” Treviño-Wright said. “And then over here, right down from the ramp-- ignoring the private property sign, they began cutting down the trees, clearing the brush, and widening the road.”
Jim Frisinger with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers confirmed that there were work crews from both U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and the Corps of Engineers on the center's property on Thursday. CBP refused to comment, but Frisinger says the Corps of Engineers is gathering geotechnical data to assist CBP in the planning of their current, and future border security program.
Treviño-Wright says she and her team normally monitor both sides of the levee that runs through more than 100 acres of their land to monitor wildlife, and survey for native plants. Treviño-Wright added that she wasn't given any previous notice before crews started working.
"We're just sick about it, really,” Treviño-Wright. “It's shocking. We don't come back here on high-alert with the idea that government contractors may be trespassing, and eliminating vegetation, or altering the landscape, or in any way interfering with our investment in this property.”
Frisinger said that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ contractor has not performed any clearing, or tree removals on the property, as their contract allows for collection of soil samples in the Valley.
Treviño-Wright says that CBP has requested to meet with her on August 1.
CBS 4 News will follow up on the meeting next week.