MISSION, Texas (ValleyCentral) — On Thursday Marianna Treviño-Wright, the executive director of the National Butterfly Center, saw a new concertina wire installed on the riverbank of the Rio Grande.
Wright said she came across it by chance.
“As we were searching the river bank for birds, we saw cleared vegetation and concertina wire strung on the river bank”, said Wright.
Last week, Governor Greg Abbott announced a list of new safety measures for a potential surge in illegal crossings following the end of Title 42 in May.
One item on Abbott’s list is concertina wire.
“Deploying boat blockades in appropriate regions of the Rio Grande River, deploying razor wire at low water crossings and high traffic areas, creating container blockades to drive people away from low water crossings,” said Abbott.
The wire is located on the river banks south of the Bentsen State Park.
Wright said she spoke with area law enforcement to confirm where the barbed wire came from.
“This morning I met with the patrol agent in charge of the McAllen station for U.S. Border Patrol and he confirmed for me that this was done by Operation Lone Star by Governor Abbott and the Texas National Guard,” said Wright.
ValleyCentral spoke with residents along the river who said they saw construction start about 15 days ago.
“The first 300 feet of the riverbank belongs to the federal government. They maintain control of it and the International Boundary and Water Commission,” said Wright.
However, Wright said the new wire poses a threat to local wildlife.
“Well, Texas Parks and Wildlife determined back in 1970 less than 5% of our native habitat remains, that’s when they started creating the Lower Rio Grande Valley Conservation Corridor. This (the river bank) is a critical part of that,” said Wright. “So, my first thought in seeing this is like pulling the rug out from under the reproductive cycle of the birds and the insects.”