Thursday, April 28, 2011

Ranching's Risky Business in Southern Arizona

4 Strand Border Fence
The federal government is reporting a significant decline in the number of apprehensions of illegal immigrants, but members of the Arizona Cattlemen's Association are asking for additional equipment and personnel along the border. Daniel Bell of ZZ Corporation in Santa Cruz County is one of them. He says ranchers need protection from smugglers and a steady stream of migrants on their ranches. Bell's family has been ranching near Nogales, Arizona since the 1930s. They lease more than 30,000 acres from the Bureau of Land Management. It includes about eight miles on the border with Mexico, where only a four-strand barbed wire fence separates both countries. He says he spends a lot of time fixing the permeable barrier. "Even though we have a gate right down here not more than 20 yards away, but for fear of being sensored they go ahead and cut our fences, and the problem is this is most likely drug smuggling here and when we’re out here working these pastures with our cattle, you just never know what you’re going to come across," Bell says. Bell and others are concerned about violence, especially in light of the unsolved murder of Cochise County rancher Rob Krentz last year. "It seems like it’s getting more violent out in these areas," he says. "Last year on September 5th we had a shooting here on the ranch; November 18th we had another shooting.”...more

No comments: