The U.S. Border Patrol has decided to allow "further study" before lacing a stretch of the bank of the Rio Grande River with herbicides to wipe out all the plants so illegal immigrants, as well as birds and other wildlife, can't hide from them. The people in the nearby communities are naturally concerned about how dangerous the pesticides are, and that's as good a reason as any to stop such a project. But hello? Plants are essential along a river bank for all kinds of water quality issues--and a lot of humans as well as birds get their drinking and irrigation water from the Rio Grande. Plants are essential along a river bank for all kinds of other ecological reasons, too. We birds need them for food and shelter.