Crews hired by the federal government have started opening access through the Coronado National Forest in preparation for the construction of a new border wall west of Nogales, shearing off a wooded mountainside in the process.

An NI staffer noticed the recently cut gash in the mountain on Monday – it’s readily visible from Ruby Road on the way to the Peña Blanca Lake recreation area – then followed a dirt road that had been widened and smoothed for six miles through National Forest land to the site just north of the U.S.-Mexico border.

Border road

Heavy machinery is parked along Forest Road 222 on Monday, Sept. 7.

Border road

This view south shows a still-unimproved section of forest road winding south toward the U.S.-Mexico border, a half-mile away. To the right (west), out of the picture, is the razed mountainside.


Forest Road 222 in western Santa Cruz County is being upgraded as part of a project to build a border wall through the undeveloped, mountainous area.

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