Introduction: Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge
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Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) is located in southern Arizona just north of the U.S.-Mexico border. The refuge is designated as a federal wilderness area. However, in spite of conservation efforts and as a direct result of immigration policies, Cabeza Prieta faces high levels of human traffic causing environmental degradation. Together, conservation and military/security efforts seek to control the border region. I analyze conservation and security efforts through the lens of Foucault’s concept of a “disciplined space.” Ultimately, studying nature conservation along the border illuminates ways which race and racial inequality are present in the politics of conservation and security. This chapter lays out the theoretical framework scaffolding the rest of the book and explains my ethnographic and mixed-method approach to data collection and analysis.
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