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Saturday, September 20, 2014

A book worth reading

Occasionally one happens upon a book that changes the way she views the world. Continental Divide: Wildlife, People, and the Border Wall is such a book. It has the power to open your thinking beyond the fray of political parties.

Since the beginning of time, humankind has either accepted or rejected responsibility for the wildlife that shares our world.

Today, an issue that has become a political hot tomato is impacting the many species that make their home along the borderlands between the United States and Mexico.

In Continental Divide, author Krista Schlyer rises above the political furor to showcase the many forms of life that are being impacted by the newly constructed Border Wall.

Schlyer has spent most of her career photographing and writing about wildlife in the Southwest. Continental Divide, five years in the making, studies the impact the border wall is having on many threatened and endangered species. Through her beautiful photography, she tells the story of the everyday struggle for survival they face.

In 2007, she observed a rare wild herd of bison that journeyed back and forth across the border daily in their search for food and water. The wall threatens their survival as well as the lives of ocelots and other animals.

She led an expedition of the International League of Conservation Photographers to document what is happening. Many people who advocate a wall to divide the two countries have little or no knowledge of the ecological diversity of the region. Schlyer hopes to educate Americans to the real cost of the wall – a cost much higher than the billions of dollars spent on its construction and maintenance.

One has only to look at the photographs to gain an appreciation of the border states. Her eloquence with the written word provides a resounding argument of our responsibility to preserve our natural world. She calls for immigration reform that encompasses both the political and the environmental issues.

Continental Divide should be read by every thinking and caring American. Schlyer has given us an overview of a world whose future depends on intelligent conservation policies.

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