Red-lettered signs warning of "BLASTING" began appearing over the past week at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, a remote desert region in southwestern Arizona bordered by Mexico to the south and a Native American reservation to the east, NBC News reports.
Crews have been blasting the hillside while excavators and backhoes clear a path for the towering sections of border wall fast-tracked by the Trump administration — a pace that has environmental groups worried that sacred burial sites and ancestral lands are at risk of being irreversibly harmed.
Since 1976, the 516-square-mile park — home to more than two dozen unique species of cacti and countless wildlife — has been recognized as a UNESCO ecological preserve worth conserving.
"This is a new low even for the Trump administration," said Laiken Jordahl, a borderlands campaigner for the nonprofit Center for Biological Diversity in Arizona who has been documenting the altered landscape.
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