Thank goodness, somebody in the main stream media is finally covering the border security issue. Kudos to Genevieve Curtis who filed this report for KFOX14. Here ARE some excerpts:
The Dona Ana County Sheriff Todd Garrison and his office opposes a bill to make the Organ Mountains and Desert Peaks a national monument because of safety and security concerns. KFOX14 went along with two members of the office as they patrolled the remote areas of the New Mexican desert. Capt. Manion Long and Lt. Jon Day specialize in border security; they’re focused on things like drug smuggling and human trafficking. “We are concerned about criminal activity taking place in Dona Ana County,” said Long. Among their chief concerns, -- around 340 square miles of wide open wilderness, stretching from the U.S. Mexican border, to Interstate 10 and beyond. It’s land where smugglers and criminals have carved out paths to cross. “A lot of these routes, these smuggling routes, are historical in nature. Fathers have taught son, grandfathers have taught fathers. It's a family enterprise,” said Long. But it’s also land that could soon become a national monument. While beautiful, there can be danger in the desert. “This is an open area. The fact of the matter is we don’t have a secure southern border. It is a national security issue,” said Long. While on patrol, Long explained what he looks for. "Markers, I’m looking for tracks in the roadway, I’m looking for movement, dust, which could indicate movement, anything man-made,” he said. Empty soda cans perched into the mesquite can be used to guide people through the tough terrain. The cans reflect light and serve as guide post markers. Long and his team have also found stones stacked in the desert. Typically, a few large stones will be stacked on top of each other, creating pillars. “The stones don’t stack themselves,” said Long. While on patrol, Day and Long returned to a location where they found carpet shoes buried in the sand just a few days before. “We found carpet shoes typically associated with smugglers in an effort to conceal their footprints in the soft sand,” said Long. After re-canvassing the area, they found several more sets of carpet shoes. “Our group is getting bigger,” said Long. Water bottles, bottles of ‘Electrolyte’, bread and a can of sardines were also found near the shoes. All of the wrappers bore Spanish print. Within the last year Long said a rancher also found abandoned bundles of marijuana near the area...more
I would encourage everyone concerned about border security to read the entire story or watch the video. There are some errors, but the whole thing is confusing to many because there are three proposals: S. 1805 by Udall/Heinrich which would designate 22% of Dona Ana County as Wilderness and a National Monument, H.R. 995 by Pearce which would designate the Organs only as a monument, and the proposal by NMWA to have the President designate 25% of Dona Ana County as a monument. So if you are standing on a piece of ground you have to ask is it Wilderness or Monument and is it a legislative or administrative designation. I'll cover the errors in a future post but everyone should thank Curtis and KFOX for their coverage.