Dear Lovers of Butterflies & Freedom,
We need your help—again—to fight a new enemy threatening the National Butterfly Center
. This time, the villain is not the Trump Administration (against whom we filed suit
in December 2017), but Brian Kolfage and his private citizens’ campaign, We Build the Wall, Inc
. (WBTW), along with Fisher Industries
. Together, they are building what they describe as a “water wall” on the banks of the Rio Grande River.
In early November, WBTW and Fisher arrived on a neighboring property in Mission, Texas, where they are building an unpermitted, freestanding border wall 3 miles long in the floodplain, in violation of international treaty. This project will obstruct and divert water flow in flood events to nearby properties and cause irreparable damage to the Rio Grande delta and the National Butterfly Center.
Our only option to stop this destructive project and preserve the National Butterfly Center against these impacts and potential land loss, was to file suit against the landowner, Kolfage, WBTW and Fisher
—but we will need your support to see this through.
On December 3, we obtained a Temporary Restraining Order in state district court ordering the defendants to cease all construction activity; however, construction has continued in violation of this order
Although it is less than one year old, WBTW has already collected more than $23 million for border wall construction. The organization has also come under criminal investigation
by the State of Florida, where it was formed by Kolfage, who has a history of profiting from fake and conspiratorial websites
In order to boost fundraising, Kolfage has accused the National Butterfly Center and its executive director, Marianna Trevino Wright, of being involved in human trafficking, drug smuggling and the human sex trade. His false and defamatory statements are fueling dangerous sentiment and inflaming public opinion toward our organization and our director.
The National Butterfly Center is lean, green project of the nonprofit North American Butterfly Association. Unlike our adversaries, we are not sitting on a war chest worth millions to fight them in what will most certainly become an expensive court battle. For this reason, we humbly request that you contribute any amount to this effort
to help us fight this wall and fulfill our conservation mission.
Just so you know who we’re up against, the WBTW advisory board
is composed of proxies for President Trump. The board includes Steve Bannon, former White House Chief Strategist and former executive chairman of Breitbart News; Kris Kobach, Republican candidate from Kansas for U.S. Senate; Erik Prince, founder of military service contractor Blackwater USA and brother of U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos: and David Alexander Clarke Jr., former sheriff of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, vocal critic of the Black Lives Matter movement, and former spokesman for the super PAC America First Action.
The National Butterfly Center is a 100-acre, native plant botanical garden that anchors a 2,000-acre section of the Lower Rio Grande Valley Wildlife Conservation Corridor, a critical habitat preservation project at the biologically-diverse and vibrant, but threatened, crossroads of the United States and Mexico. This unique region encompasses no fewer than 11 different types of habitat, from tidal wetlands to riparian forest, brushland scrub to prairie savanna, and is home to more than 1,200 different species of plants, 500 species of birds, 200 vertebrate species, roughly 300 species of butterflies and over 90 species of dragonflies!