PACIFIC BORDERS, DISCORDANT
BORDERS: WHERE NORTH AMERICA
James Loucky and Donald K. Alper
The U.S.-Mexico border has drawn enormous, and often singular, attention from Americans; by contrast, while the U.S.-Canada border figures prominently in the psyche of Canadians, people in the United States strain to realize that it even exists. The reasons for this dissimilarity emerge through comparative consideration of both borders along the Pacific. Despite obvious differences in ecological character, with the northern bioregion comprised of temperate rainforests and the south characterized by arid desert, the two main human corridors – Vancouver-Seattle and San Diego–Tijuana – have much in common in terms of rapid growth, urbanization, and accelerated transborder linkages. Both also are characterized by serious environmental vulnerability. This provides a valuable opportunity for sharing knowledge of environmental and growth management approaches between, as well as across, each border.