Monday, August 08, 2011

Dona Ana Sheriff Decries Bingaman Wilderness Bill as "Height of Folly"

by Jim Scarantino

Bingaman's bill would "stymie my department's efforts to protect public safety," says the Sheriff of Dona Ana County, Todd Garrison.  He also decries Bingaman's plan to create wilderness on the border with Mexico as "the height of folly."  You can read his letter to the U.S. Senate here.   Will compromising the safety of the residents of Las Cruces and Dona Ana County be Bingaman's legacy?  The man in charge of keeping those same people safe says so.

TheDona Ana Soil and Water Conservation District says Bingaman's bill "will eliminate the District’s access to key areas of this watershed to perform any watershed restoration projects aimed at improving watershed health and/or providing for effective stormwater management to preserve our natural resources and provide for the safety and welfare of our public and property."  They plead with our Senator: "Please, how can you believe this to be good for Dona Ana County?"

The National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers says that Bingaman's bill's prohibitions on "the use of mechanical equipment will consequently prevent the deployment of mobile surveillance
systems, remote cameras, electronic detection devices and other tools critical to maintaining operational control of the area in question" and impose unacceptable impediment on the Border Patrol's ability to do its job.

The Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce says, "There is a deep concern within our community on S. 1024’s negative impact to our local, state and national security due to its wilderness designation of lands near the U.S. / Mexican border."  Also, they say "There is deep concern regarding S. 1024’s negative impact on flood control within our valley."

What in the world has happened to Jeff Bingaman?

Jim Scarantino is the former Executive Director of the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance

Originally posted at NM Liberty.

For these and other comments of those opposed to S. 1024 see SPECIAL EDITION ON BINGAMAN'S WILDERNESS BILL

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