A world heritage site by UNESCO is brutally attacked and destroyed
I am sad and upset as here we go again
Perhaps you do not know what having an area declared a UNESCO site means. A World Heritage Site is a special place on Mother Earth, that is deemed worthy of protection by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.
This special place will have cultural, historical, scientific, or another form of significance. Sometimes, more than one of these criteria is met and makes this place so special as to be legally protected by international treaties.
Normally the people in the area of this special place are mighty proud of getting the title of a Heritage Site, as it will increase its fame and many people worldwide will want to come and visit.
Here in Spain, recently, they gave this title to the famous Dolmen in Antequera, in the south of Spain. This is a protected area and has to be preserved to show our past to the coming generations.
When UNESCO gives this title, one does one’s utmost best to keep this special place safe
A very special place in the Sonoran Desert with the name Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument is being destroyed by human ignorance. Since 1976, this National Monument has also been designated the Organ Pipe Cactus Biosphere Reserve, and UNESCO has declared it the most pristine example of an intact Sonoran Desert ecosystem.
They established this park in 1937 and it has an area of 517 square miles (1,339 square km). They took the name from the Organ-Pipe Cactus (Stenocereus thurberi). The fruit is edible, but you have to know how to harvest it. If it were to fall, it would then break.
When you open the fruit, it has a red pulp, which you can eat. It was a food source for Native Americans and can be used in many different ways. Made into a jelly or just like it is, even fermented as a beverage.
In this YouTube video, you can have a look at this park and see its unusual scenery.
The slow emigration of the cactus
It is interesting to find out why this cactus is present in the Sonoran desert. This cactus actually originated in warm, dry tropics. Then, when the global climate warmed at the end of the last Ice Age, it started emigrating to the North. Slowly but surely it arrived in the Sonoran desert some 3500 years ago.
This cactus does not like frost and therefore you will see it on the south side of the rocky slopes, but sometimes there is a cold spell that will kill it. If it gets close to sub-freezing, the younger part of the cactus will die, but when the warmth comes back, it will grow again, leaving scars at that spot.
It can stand a lot of heat because it can store large quantities of water inside. Their skin does not let water thru and all those sharp spines serve as sun protectors. The first time it blossoms is at the age of 35 and it can reach the age of 150 and even older.
I must say this cactus is quite amazing. As the flowers only bloom in May and June, and are only open during the night and close by mid-morning, there is not much time for pollination.
How pollination takes place
Now you might say this looks special, but do these organ pipe cacti play a role in the ecosystem? Yes, they certainly do. Think about the long-nosed bats. Over centuries they have built up a special relationship with the organ pipe cactus.
Bats sleep during the day, but at night they come out to fly in the night sky, catching little insects. When the fruit of the cactus ripens, which is normally before the summer rains, it splits open and one can see the bright red seed-studded pulp. Bats love to eat this fruit and the nectar of the flowers, and that is how it spreads.
A wall is going to destroy this unique site
Once more, human ignorance and disrespect for a natural and protected site that should be preserved for future generations, is in danger. In the past, I have written quite a few posts on similar things. At the end of this report, I will give you a list of some of these other posts.
On one side there are people who do their utmost best to protect fauna and flora, and on the other side, you have ignorant leaders who want to destroy it.
Until now, they have built no gigantic wall. It has been only a lot of talking. That seems to be changing now. Between 2012 and 2017 there were a few miles of border fence built in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, but at least it was done with some care.
The wall was not too high, but it did already disturb the rare and endangered desert animals. It disrupted their normal life as their routes were cut. Saguaro and other cacti were removed, but in total it could have been worse.
A beautiful book
One of the most wildly diverse and fascinating regions in the world. This is a book for nature enthusiasts, birdwatchers, hikers, and all those people who are interested in the history of the Sonoran Desert.
This is a YouTube video where you can see how the Saguaro Cacti are being bulldozed.
The changes in EPA and their consequences
As the EPA was reformed and new people put at the top, the actual function of the EPA was completely altered. Taking care of the country, its heritage, and the American people, all of that lost its importance. The word protection changed into destruction.
Cacti, which are older than the nation, are now brutally bulldozed down leaving a scar across the desert. In September, the defense department pledged that they would relocate the Saguaro, but pictures show they are pilled up like a heap of rubbish. One more thing is being destroyed, which our children and future generations will only know from pictures.
Once more the video Man is so to the point showing human folly.
Mother Earth would be better off without us, no doubt about that.
Here are some posts that talk about similar and sad examples of human destruction.
Trees are so important as they clean the air. https://motherearthstreasures.com/800-year-old-trees-in-danger-unbelievable-government-decision
Archaeological sites belong to the people. https://motherearthstreasures.com/archaeological-sites-are-the-history-of-a-people
Another incomprehensible decision. https://motherearthstreasures.com/did-you-know-that-america-wants-to-destroy-your-wildlife
I have traveled quite a bit, lived and studied in different countries. I consider myself a world citizen. Even if I do not live in the U.S. it hurts me to see what is happening there. The people of America should speak up to protect their country. I hope they do it before it is too late.
There is a new government in the U.S. I hope that will mean that the Sonoran Desert is safe.
Before you leave, pay a visit to Recommendations. It is a special page I have made for you with a collection of things you could find interesting.
Source: Daily Kos, 5 October 2019, article by Mark Summer, Daily Kos Staff
Photo Source: Pixabay
Here in Spain, people are becoming more conscious of their cultural heritage and the beauty of fauna and flora. You might like to read the following post.