Environmentalists Take Note...
Source: tucson weekly
Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge has 5 1/2 miles of border within the corridor. Its land has been badly staggered by illegal immigration and drug smuggling, and visitors can see evidence of it within moments of arriving. The parking lot is surrounded by steel rails and a locked gate, and the office has bars on the windows and expensive security doors.This is one of the greatest environmental stories not being told. The fragile desert ecosystems on our southern border are being overwhelmed by the discarded trash of illegal aliens. Yet our environmental buddies prove their absolute lack of seriousness by never mentioning this lest they be branded "racist."
It looks like a building in a dangerous inner-city neighborhood, not an 118,000-acre preserve in some of Arizona's most picturesque land.
...There are now 1,500-2,000 miles of illegal trails on Refuge land. Illegal crossers left 500 tons of trash for staff and volunteers to pick up in 2004, and about the same amount in 2005. "I know it sounds unbelievable, but we cranked the numbers," says Ellis.
...The hardest-hit area is below Garcia Road, a dirt track running east to west about a mile north of the border. This parcel became such a hotbed of criminal activity that in October, Ellis ordered 3,500 acres off limits to the public--American land effectively taken out of American hands by the invaders...
Interestingly enough we lived right there for a bit and got to see some of this first hand. Here's something I wrote a while back about this...
My wife and I had the privilege of working on a guest ranch right on the border in the little Arizona town of Sasabee. Though I was the chef and my wife was my Sous chef, in the early mornings we’d have to help the wranglers gather the horses for the days riding.
Imagine if you will. The sun is just peeking over the horizon, the landscape bristles with alien looking cactus and scrubby grasses, wild colors and shapes misted with dew. The soft knickering of horses breaks the deep silence and the sky looks like an impressionist painting, faint hues of purple and pink wafting as far as the eye can see.
You left the compound through a ocotillo fence with the feeling of time peeling back depositing you in the old west. The ochre sand crunched underfoot as you followed the horse tracks through undulating washes and over hills.
Crossing the hill my mind was filled with the beauty of the place until topping the rise I was confronted by several tons of trash. Syringes, discarded clothes, food containers, cans, backpacks, toilet paper and the reek of urine and excrement.
Did it hurt me? No. Did it hurt my spirit? You bet.
Those open spaces are a treasure we share in common and can’t be replaced. And some things can’t be measured in terms of dollars and cents or practicality.Here are some photos from Rancho De La Osa, the ranch we worked at. I wish we had some of the surrounding countryside but they're all of the ranch itself...
The main Hacienda
A fountain in the back courtyard
MJ on the tractor (her grandpa the farmer found this one a little hard to believe)
Jake with the ranch dogs, his first experience with 'Blue Heelers.'
Palm trees just outside the perimeter.
This land is being damaged in ways that can be hard to fix, and why? So unscrupulous employers can avoid paying decent wages. How lovely.
As seen @
Conservative cat Basil's blog Stuck On Stupid
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