Friday, May 28, 2010

Protecting endangered species interfering with border security

A group of Republican lawmakers says policies aimed at protecting the grizzly bear and other cross-boundary species along the U.S.-Canada border are putting wildlife conservation ahead of national security on America's northern frontier. In a statement released this week warning that "the national security threat from the North is real," the Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives committee on natural resources alleged that agents with the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Border Patrol "are frequently unable to effectively monitor this land due to environmental regulations." They added: "These protections have enabled criminals to target the areas for illegal and other dangerous activities. This remote Department of Interior and Department of Agriculture land can be targeted by drug smugglers, human traffickers and potential terrorists." The Republican committee members, led by Utah congressman Rob Bishop, are insisting that border agents be permitted unfettered use of trucks or all-terrain vehicles along the Washington-British Columbia border, where some areas are currently deemed off-limits to protect grizzlies moving between the two countries...more

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