Thursday, June 10, 2010

Wilderness Proposal meant to ease concerns

Revisions to a proposal for creating federal wilderness in Do-a Ana County are meant to ease concerns relating to border enforcement, lawmakers said Wednesday. U.S. Sens. Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall, D-N.M., announced they plan to modify a wilderness bill they introduced last year by changing the designation of 30,000 acres in the southernmost part of the county. They said the new proposal would classify the acreage as a restricted-use area, a new designation in which vehicle use by the general public would be banned, but law enforcement would still be able to access the land for routine patrols. Jude McCartin, spokeswoman for Bingaman, said the change would increase the size of a buffer zone between the international border and the southernmost tip of the proposed wilderness, giving border agents "more flexibility" in their work. The initial bill included a three-mile buffer, but the restricted-use area would add another two miles to that...more

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