Questions Remain after Construction Crews Seen on Private Property near Mission

4 years 6 months 1 week ago Friday, July 21 2017 Jul 21, 2017 July 21, 2017 9:12 PM July 21, 2017 in News

MISSION – Administrators at the National Butterfly Center said they received new information on why part of their land could be under construction by the federal government.

National Butterfly Center executive director Marianna Trevino-Wright said she found a construction crew on the center's land Thursday. She said administrators were not notified.

“In spite of the private property sign, they were down here starting to eliminate the vegetation between us and the National Wildlife Refuge next door. On this road that leads to the Rio Grande River,” said Trevino-Wright.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection responded to our request regarding the heavy machinery, orange stakes and large X's and other construction on the center's property.

CBP spokesperson Rod Kise sent the following statement on behalf of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which reads in part:

"The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said its contractor has not performed any drilling, clearing of tree removals in the vicinity of the subject location. The contractor did place X markings on the ground surface as targets to be visible from an airplane to do mapping.  The contractor also placed wooden stakes with flagging at proposed boring locations. Boring locations are typically located at ramps crossing the levee."

We went back to the center to speak with Trevino-Wright about the CBP response.

"Well you guys saw the trees that were cleared yesterday and the roadway that was cleared. And I had five representatives of CBP here at 11 o'clock to meet with me and go physically observed that themselves this morning,” she told CHANNEL 5 NEWS. 

Trevino-Wright said the representatives told her they didn't know it was happening. She said her next step is to speak with the North American Butterfly Association lawyers for counsel to protect the land from future projects.

"Just keep demanding paperwork and asking that they halt whatever activity it is that we observe until they deliver paperwork,” she said. 

CHANNEL 5 NEWS reached out to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for comment. We are still waiting for comment.

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