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Congressman Rob Bishop

Representing the 1st District of Utah

Center for Biological Diversity opposes effort to improve border security

September 12, 2011

"The following release from the Center for Biological Diversity perfectly illustrates the challenges we face with regards to securing the entire border region.  Unless the U.S. Border Patrol is able to access the entire border region, especially public lands currently overrun with drug and human smuggling activity, our national security will remain in jeopardy.  This release also emphasizes the importance of H.R. 1505, legislation that grants the Border Patrol greater access to all areas along the border, including public lands," said Congressman Rob Bishop

by Hugh Holub, Tucson

Sep. 06, 2011

This Press Release from, Center for Biological Diversity dated September 2, 2011 makes it absolutely clear where CBD's priorities are…

Border Patrol Plan to Triple Base Size on Arizona-Mexico Border Puts Endangered Wildlife, Fragile Lands at Risk

TUCSON, Ariz.— The Center for Biological Diversity today criticized a new environmental analysis by the Department of Homeland Security that fails to adequately assess the effects of its border-security and enforcement activities along the U.S.-Mexico border, including tripling the size of its base in the desert. In comments submitted to the Department, the group called on Homeland Security to produce a thorough, realistic analysis of the impacts of its activities on the fragile and diverse landscapes of the border region, home to a range of threatened and endangered species.

"In its slipshod analysis of the impacts of tripling the size of its forward operating base near Organ Pipe National Monument and Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, Homeland Security seems to condone ongoing damage to these precious public lands and their wildlife," said the Center's Cyndi Tuell. "For imperiled species like Sonoran pronghorns, this lip-service study is a death knell."

Organ Pipe and Cabeza Prieta lie adjacent to each other along the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona and have been significantly hurt by off-road vehicle use in recent years — much of the damage has been the result of Border Patrol vehicles riding roughshod over wilderness areas.

"For an agency devoted to securing the border, the Border Patrol does an awful lot of off-road driving 15 to 20 miles north of the border, through extremely sensitive habitat for a range of species," said Tuell. "Sonoran pronghorn are especially vulnerable to this kind of disruption, which can stop them from raising their fawns or getting enough to eat."

Surveys and satellite data show that nearly 8,000 miles — and some estimate up to 20,000 miles — of illegal, "wildcat" roads now exist on the Cabeza Prieta, some of which were created by illegal cross-border vehicle activity, but an increasing percentage of which have resulted from misguided enforcement strategies.

"A memo of understanding between Homeland Security and the Department of the Interior was signed to create protocols for border-security activities on our precious public lands," said Tuell. "In many places it works well, but on Organ Pipe and Cabeza Prieta, Homeland Security routinely ignores it."

"The Department of Homeland Security should focus its enforcement efforts closer to the border to prevent damage to America's public lands before it encroaches so far into the United States," said Tuell. "And it needs to work more closely with land managers on the ground in these areas to reduce the damage caused by their activities."

COMMENTARY: The border will never be secure against illegal entry and drug smuggling as long as portions of the border are widen open.

The reason these areas are wide open is because of federal land managers who put protecting lizards ahead of national security, and radical environmental groups like CBD who fight everything in the name of protecting endangered species.

I think it is time the federal government looks into where CBD gets its donations.

If I were in charge of the Mexican drug cartel I'd be giving money to outfits like CBD which fight securing the border. Groups like CBD consciously or unconsciously are aiding and abetting the Mexican drug cartels.

The people of America have got to stop this nonsense of debating border security versus protecting the environment along the border. The drug smugglers and illegal aliens do not care about our environment and are destroying it. This must be stopped.

Environmental laws must be subordinated to national security in the area adjacent to our land borders so the Border Patrol can secure the border at the border.

Did you know it is a misdemeanor to illegally enter the country, but a felony to run over an endangered species lizard?

And those who want immigration law reform…it ought to be clear that is not going to happen until the border is secured.

Do not buy Janet Napolitano's claim the border is secured. We can show you exactly where it is not secure…the zone where illegal aliens killed Border Patrol agent Brian Terry west of Nogales. There is a wilderness area and national forest land along this stretch of the border that has virtually no Border Patrol access due toi environmental priorities.

Until the Border Patrol can gain access to the border, finish the fence, put in more roads, and saturate the border zone with agents, the border is not secure…and thus no immigration law reform.

Immigration reform advocates…your cause is being destroyed by groups like the Center for Biological Diversity.