DMN Editorial: Border Patrol should not get a 100-mile exclusive zone

"You may not have heard of the Sonoran Pronghorn antelope, the lesser long-nosed bat or the desert pupfish. But you should be comforted to know that the federal bureaucracy has tried to make sure that the fight against human smugglers and drug couriers along the U.S.-Mexico border does not come at the expense of these and other endangered creatures or their sensitive environment.

How? Surveillance towers are designed to minimize the threat to bats and birds. Wires carrying electricity are buried so as to prevent electrocution. In some places, officials are required to look under heavy construction equipment before moving it to make sure tortoises haven’t sought shelter in the shade.

Is this overkill? We don’t think so. A memorandum of understanding reached under the Bush administration established a protocol to deal with the complex mission of securing the border without doing undue harm to the environment. Among other things, the system has allowed the Border Patrol to set up operations in officially declared wilderness areas, which under normal conditions are off limits to everyone and everything."  Read more …


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