Perceptions of Environmental Degradation
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In this chapter, I explore how access to wilderness is related to perceptions of environmental impact. Multiple user groups access the refuge, all with the potential to cause environmental harm or bring about environmental degradation. I focus on the two groups primarily identified as causing environmental harm: undocumented border-crossers and Border Patrol. I argue that increasing illegal roads and vehicular damage are the most pressing environmental problems facing the refuge today. However, media accounts often focus on garbage left by undocumented border-crossers as being harmful to wilderness. I explore these varying perceptions of environmental degradation at Cabeza Prieta.
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