Monday, September 21, 2009

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Featured Research
On the Border: Degraded Environmental Quality, Security and Transparency

By Robert Gordon

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.

>> Click here to read Rob Gordon's full report

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