Friday, April 27, 2007

More on the virtual fence

The Department of Homeland Security and Boeing are already slapping each others' backs for a job well done down on Arizona's southern border. The "virtual wall" hasn't yet been built, but it's already being hailed as a success story for halting illegal entrants in Arizona's deserts, within the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge and the Coronado National Forest.

Locals aren't so sure they'll like all this surveillance. But nobody asked the jaguar, or the other wild inhabitants of the Tumacacori Highlands region. This area is the subject of a capital-W Wilderness proposal, one that necessarily subtracts the border infrastructure being built in the project area. Of course, then there are the other locals, those who don't want any government involvement at all; those who want their "true freedoms" protected.

We're not intending to get in the middle of the Wilderness debate on these pages so soon after yesterday's fiasco, we're merely pointing to the divergent opinions that contextualize the public lands' debate down in southern Arizona: Wilderness, black helicopters, top predators, and big corporate money.

And just in case you miss it in the full text article, note this curious admission from the Border Patrol:
"We will be able to identify, detect and classify more than 95 percent of illegal entries with the virtual wall," Aguilar said.
Tomato picker, dishwasher, bus driver, nanny, roofer, student, tile setter, teacher's aide, taxpayer.... It remains to be seen which ones they let pass on through.

- Lozen

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Lozen, is the Tumacacori "big-W" proposal a clean wilderness proposal, or does it have other stuff in it, too?

Demarcated Landscapes said...

We strongly recommend you have a look at www.tumacacoriwild.org. We support it, but we wish there was a way to get Wilderness designated without so many concessions to the ranchers (cherry-stemmed roads and motorized travel). The ranchers down there aren't in favor of this anyway, nor are they likely to come on board, so conservationists should stop giving away the farm, so to speak.

be said...

yes - it seems they're going out of their way to dispel the notion that Wilderness designation will reduce grazing. too bad...

i have land on the southern most tip of the Chiricahuas ~ Southern AZ is beautiful ~ far too much grazing and unfortunately the militarization of the border has left a lot of wildlife and habitat destroyed.