Saturday, March 13, 2010

Salazar to tour dangerous border area

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will tour the U.S.-Mexico border Saturday at a national monument that has been deemed so dangerous more than half is closed to the public. Salazar will spend nearly two hours at the border of Arizona's Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument after chatting with employees at the Kris Eggle Visitor Center, which is named after a park ranger who was killed by drug runners in 2002. Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, has argued for public land agencies and Homeland Security to do more to secure the vast stretches of border abutting federally controlled areas. He also has raised concerns about conflicts between Interior officials and border agents. Robert Eggle, whose son was killed on U.S. soil, will accompany Salazar on the trip and said Friday that he hopes to encourage the secretary to take a deeper look at the problems along public lands on the border and to staff up the area to tackle the influx of crossers. Eggle says even eight years after his son's murder, there hasn't been enough done to halt the drug cartels that are increasingly controlling part of the national monument, and he's still sore that federal officials didn't see his son's death as a catalyst to take major action there. "I personally am outraged," Robert Eggle said, "that there was no outrage expressed by any level of government, be it Congress or the president or the secretary of state, never any expression of outrage that an American, a federal law enforcement officer well inside the U.S. could be killed by spillover Mexican violence." more

COMMENT: The key here will be who briefs the Secretary. Will they show him the previous studies showing the destruction of the resource by traffickers, the abandoned vehicles, the map showing the traffickers prefer Wilderness area, etc.? For an excellent video presentation on these internal federal studies go here.

1 comment:

J.R. Absher said...

Having watched and written about the situation at Organ Pipe NM for years now, I have continually found the biggest paradox to be the total lack of concern by so-called environmental groups at the destruction of some of the rarest, most fragile plants and habitat in the U.S. Where's the outrage from the Sierra Club and others? Non-existent.