In September, the federal government dismissed two lawsuits between Arizona and federal officials regarding the makeshift shipping container wall along the US-Mexico border.
These two high-profile revolved around Arizona’s unauthorized installation of shipping container barriers, with the second lawsuit seeking to halt the project.
On Thursday, September 21, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced the voluntary dismissal of these cases.
Starr Farrell from the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) said the dismissal of these lawsuits has streamlined the agency’s operations, facilitating the ongoing remediation efforts since February.
“What the state of Arizona did was they asked us what other work needs to be done,” Farrell said.
This led to the creation of a collection agreement, enabling the Coronado National Forest to receive a lump sum of $2,126,030 from the state of Arizona, to finance environmental remediation.
According to Farrell, these funds will support three years of invasive species monitoring and seeding, erosion control, earthwork, landscape recontouring near waterways and the replacement of road resurfacing material that was lost due to haul truck traffic.
With the lawsuits dismissed, the state is now focused on disposing of the shipping containers through an online auction.
The first round of shipping containers from the border walls will be available for purchase starting Monday, October 16.
Those who are interested in purchasing the 40-foot containers are required to set up an account on the state's online auction platform at least seven days before bidding.
A total of five shipping containers will be available for purchase in the first round and additional containers will be posted every two weeks.
Bidding for each container will start at $2,000.
Winning bidders will have five days to pay and schedule the pick up of their containers, and will be responsible for the transportation costs.
The containers are also available for direct purchase by government and nonprofit entities.
The Coronado National Forest’s Sierra Vista Ranger District remains open along the border, providing recreational opportunities for visitors.