Wednesday, December 31, 2008

COM: Hurry Up Jan. 20th!!!

DHS seeks to condemn nature preserve land
12/30/2008 11:32 AM, By: Associated Press

McALLEN, Texas -- The Department of Homeland Security has sued The Nature Conservancy to condemn land in a South Texas nature preserve for the border fence.

The conservancy's Lennox Foundation Southmost Preserve includes more than 1,000 acres along the Rio Grande near Brownsville. It is home to a rare grove of native sabal palms, a South Texas native plant nursery for reforestation projects and habitat for the endangered ocelot and jaguarundi.

The government offered the conservancy $114,000 for a strip of land that would leave three-quarters of the preserve in the no-man's land between the fence and Mexico. That's according to court records filed earlier this month.

The Nature Conservancy's preference is no fence and no compensation, but the offer failed to take into account the impact to the rest of preserve. That's what Laura Huffman, The Nature Conservancy's state director, said today.

She says that the organization paid more than $2.5 million in 1999 for the preserve and has invested considerable money in it since.

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