Thursday, May 19, 2011

Desert Pupfish Forces Border Agents to Patrol on Foot

Federal agents must abandon their vehicles and chase drug smugglers and illegal aliens on foot through 40 acres near the Mexican border because of a pond that is home to the endangered desert pupfish. It’s part of the agreement between the Homeland Security and Interior departments on how best to protect the ecosystem, frustrating lawmakers who say it also prevents agents from conducting routine patrols. "Drug cartels and other criminals could care less about these so-called memos of understanding, or whether they are trampling through a protected species" habitat, Rep. Rob Bishop (R.-Utah) told HUMAN EVENTS. “They would just as soon eat an endangered species as protect it,” Bishop said. The two-inch, bluish pupfish lives in the Quitobaquito Pond and spring channel in the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument west of Tucson, Ariz. Border Patrol agents are no longer allowed to drive motorized vehicles into the area unless the life or safety of an officer or cross-border violator (CBV) is in danger. “USBP may access any portion of Quitobaquito by foot or on horseback at any time necessary to patrol or to pursue and apprehend cross-border violators,” the memo says. There are strict conditions set on use of the horses as well, which must be given a “weed-free-feed” so that its feces do not contaminate the ecosystem of the park. If the horses are actually kept there, the Border Patrol must “avoid contamination of ground and surface waters by removing animal waste from areas where horses are housed and disposing of it at an appropriate waste facility,” the document says...more

These Normandy-style barriers just ten feet from the Mexico border were erected by the National Park Service to block border patrol vehicles from pursuing illegal aliens into the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. Agents are allowed to pursue on horseback, but only if the animal's diet consists of weed-free feed so that its feces cannot harm the ecosystem.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The sonoran desert may be one of the most beautiful deserts in the world. Once you've lived there, as I have, and grown to love it, you are not particularly fond of the way the border patrol has torn it up with their off-road vehicles and atvs. And most of this increased presence has to do with keeping us all safe from marijuana, not the harder drugs. This is one citizen who resents that his tax dollars are continuing to be used in fighting a "war on drugs", a war that we can never win, as long as the american public has the appetite that it does. Legalize it, tax it, and we'll put the cartels out of business, and at least reduce the violence. Oh, but then we'll be eliminating a source of wealth that is certainly reaching "respectable" bank accounts on both sides of the border.