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  • On the Border: Degraded Environmental Quality, Security and Transparency


    Representative Rob Bishop’s (R-UT) is concerned about how the Department of the Interior is – or perhaps more appropriately isn’t – working with the Department of Homeland Security to secure our borders, and he let Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar know it at a hearing of the Committee on Natural Resources. As evidence of the issue’s gravity, Bishop points to a 2004 Interior Department report that had never been released to the public.

    According to the report the vast majority of the Organ National Pipe Monument in Arizona has been so degraded that it has lost its ‘wilderness’ character. Trash, vehicle tracks, foot trails and fire scars from illegal immigration and drug trafficking have severely degraded the Monument. Maps and images in the report (see photo) make a compelling case. The National Park Service’s website for the Monument, although cryptic, is consistent with the report indicating a list of roads and back-country areas simply closed off until further notice – your park lands ceded to coyotes and their human cargo and drug smugglers.

    The reason these areas are now government sponsored no-man’s lands may be even more troubling. Bishop stated that border patrol agents have been reporting “…that their hands are shackled when dealing with Interior officials on Interior Lands.” It seems that Interior may not be eager to put border security high on the agenda or share data revealing its environmental benefits. If Bishop gets his way, that may change.

    Bishop, the ranking member of the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands, lit into Secretary Salazar over Interior’s handling of several of his document requests. In addition to the documents regarding the border, Bishop requested documents regarding communications between the National Park Service and an advocacy group. According to Mr. Bishop, this request, apparently unfulfilled even though it’s as old as the Obama Administration itself, was triggered by press reports about possible impropriety between the organization and the Department, but the Department has ‘stonewalled,’ ‘foot-dragged’ and made the “false claim” that there are only seven relevant communications. As evidence of the Department’s less than forthcoming behavior Bishop exhibited a list of phone calls made by an Interior official over a dozen pages long with the vast majority of the document ‘redacted’ – Washington speak for ‘blacked out.’ (That’s at about 1:20 on the video.)

    Maybe the Department of the Interior didn’t get that Obama memo on establishing “a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration.”

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    19 Responses to On the Border: Degraded Environmental Quality, Security and Transparency

    1. Erica T, DC says:

      This is very disturbing for both our environment and our border security. Why is the focus on so many other environmental issues and not this one? It seems this problem should be at the top of the list for a number of reasons. It's dissapointing that a 'blind eye' is turned to the environmental, human rights and border problem we (common folks) see so clearly.

    2. Albert campbellsvill says:

      Just another example of lawless illegals.If I were cuaght trashing federal lands or parks they would throw me in jail and fine the heck out of me.

    3. Ella, DC says:

      Why isnt this being covered anywhere else? This is rediculous– our tax dollars being used to pay for this park where illegals run through and border control has its hands tied– that's beyond all common sense. Another example of the D's wasting our tax dollars to appease the wacko enviros that line their pockets.

    4. judy oregon says:

      It is such a shame that our border patrol has there hands tied. Something is terribly wrong when the government allows this kind of abuse on our public lands that belongs to all of the citizens of the united states. If I or anyone else living in this country was to abuse the land the way the illegals are getting away with we would be throwed in jail. Makes me wonder who is getting paid off.

    5. Herbie Bondage, Cali says:

      The reason there has been little attention to this, true environmental degradation and destruction, is because there is no money in it for the Left. If Al Gore could buy and sell undocumented trash offsets, and set up corporations to do the same, this would be on the front page of all the major newspapers tomorrow.

    6. Margaret McCarthy says:

      The more Illegals who come here, the more Obama can get amnesty for — that's the next push after health care and Cap & Trade.

      It's all about the environment, unless it's about the environment being trashed by people who shouldn't be here in the first place!

      Fat chance that these future Obama voters will be stopped.

    7. Judy says:

      This is a daring thing to say, but local lore along the border says these parks have not only become a haven for human trafficers but for drug trafficers as well… the graft and corruption goes very high as detailed in this article


      High Ranking Homeland Security Official Arrested on Trafficking Charges

      Sep 4th, 2009 | By Michel Marizco

    8. R.U.WITHMEE says:

      @#$%^&*()%^&$*#*@!#—THERE, I HAVE SAID IT AND I FEEL BETTER.

    9. Al, The Villages, Fl says:

      What in the world is Salazar doing? Maybe the question of his qualification needs to be addressed. In addition to this mess, there is the lack of concern on the part of his dept regarding the farmers in the Central Valley in Calif. There water has been denied farmers in the valley because of concern of the smeldt fish causing a dust bowl and very high unemployment in that area of CA. All while someone decides what to do about the fish. Total incompetence. Meanwhile we will get our food from other countries instead of CA.

    10. Paul Terry Stone says:

      Environmentalists should be up in arms for once but are strangely silent about this trashing of a national park.

    11. Steven Dallas,Texas says:

      It looks to me like the interior department has lots to hide. Like a previous person stated; someone is obviously being paid off! If you name any problem currently negatively impacting the United States of America, on any subject matter, it can be linked as a direct result of ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION. Illegal Immigration, CAN AND MUST BE STOPPED!!! Someone needs to tell Obama, that if illegal immigration was stopped; health care would already be more affordable! Illegal Immigration is a huge part of the reasons why our health care costs have gone up so much over the past 15 years. Health Care providers have to make up for the loss of providing for the illegals somehow.

    12. The Kolinski Chronic says:

      Our government is full speed ahead with their under the table dream of the North American Union (NAU). Closing the border is not on their list. It wasn't on Bush's list and it isn't on Obama's list. In fact, since Obama's trilateral meeting in Mexico a few weeks ago, he's got his administration re-working the terminology and language so the NAU will be more salable to the American people.

      The U.S. government has come to represent itself against the American people. It no longer serves the people. If we have to destroy our parks and open space to birth the NAU – that's exactly what our Federal government is going to do.

    13. Clinton, Nevada says:

      Don't any of you out there have a live, beating heart? Why is it the fault of the government that the less fortunate are forced to sneak into our country. Get real. Pending more-liberal border policies, we need to design and build paved foot paths and rest stops for these immigrants, which would eliminate the environmental damage you conservatives loathe. If it weren't for people like me who really care about cruelty and suffering in this world, there wouldn't be any social programs for the poor and underpriveleged.

    14. kit, texas says:

      I am glad I had a chance to experience the Organ Pipe Monument 27 years ago. The saguaros were breathtaking and there was none of this trash from illegals visible at that time. This country has taken the wrong road under the present administration, placing an ill fated vision of global government ahead of the American people. Whatever happened to the oath to protect and defend the Constitution?

    15. Steven Dallas Texas says:

      I can clearly see that Clinton in Nevada is part of the problem and not the solution. First of all Clinton; there are several reasons why we have Controls on Immigration into our country. The most important is that it protects US CITIZENS from Disease brought over from these ILLEGAL ALIENS! Did you know Clinton? More than 500 LEGAL AMERICANS DIED LAST YEAR FROM DISEASES WE ERADICATED MORE THAN 50 YEARS AGO?! Your liberal media failed to report that issue. I cannot blame anyone for trying to better their lives, but please don't do it at the expense of my family or my fellow American. Wake up Clinton and go clean up their mess if it means so much to you. Conservatives are tired of paying the bill for your live beating heart problem! Finally; Clinton, we already have paved paths and reststops for them. It's called US Homeland Security which has multi million dollar Immigration Offices throughout our country and border crossing stations. I would advise all immigrates to properly use them as I DID!!!

    16. Georgia says:

      What A Shame, But Folks it is in every State,City,Town, County all across the Great Land of OURS , Our Elected Officals Really needs to Listen to Us , Something Has to Be Done

    17. Pingback: The Private Sector Does It Better: Vietnam Memorial Edition | Conservative Principles Now

    18. Pingback: One Old Vet » The Private Sector Does It Better: Vietnam Memorial Edition

    19. wonderful points, all are valid arguments, I had written more in my last reply, but for some reason it reset the comment feild, I left you a bookmark.

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