It’s Official: U.S. Warns It Can’t Guard Part of U.S. – Mexican Border

Uptick in Violence Forces Closing of Parkland Along Mexico Border to Americans

 Published June 16, 2010

| FOXNews.com

About 3,500 acres of southern Arizona have been closed off to U.S. citizens due to increased violence at the U.S.-Mexico border, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The closed off area includes part of the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge that stretches along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu told Fox News that violence against law enforcement officers and U.S. citizens has increased in the past four months, forcing officers on an 80 mile stretch of Arizona land north of the Mexico border off-limits to Americans.

The refuge had been adversely affected by the increase in drug smugglers, illegal activity and surveillance, which made it dangerous for Americans to visit.

“The situation in this zone has reached a point where continued public use of the area is not prudent,” said refuge manager Mitch Ellis.

“It’s literally out of control,” said Babeu. “We stood with Senator McCain and literally demanded support for 3,000 soldiers to be deployed to Arizona to get this under control and finally secure our border with Mexico. “

U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials have warned visitors in Arizona to beware of heavily armed drug smugglers and human traffickers.

“We need support from the federal government. It’s their job to secure the border and they haven’t done it,” said Babeu. “In fact, President Obama suspended the construction of the fence and it’s just simply outrageous.”

Signs have been posted warning Americans not to cross into the closed off territory south of Interstate 8. Babeu said the signs are not enough – he said Arizona needs more resources to help scale back the violence caused by the drug cartels.

“We need action. It’s shameful that we, as the most powerful nation on Earth, … can’t even secure our own border and protect our own families.”

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/06/16/closes-park-land-mexico-border-americans/

UPDATE: From the official website of the U.S. Fish & Wild Life Service 06/16/2010

Welcome
Visit a landscape of rippling grassland flanked by mountains, and riparian zones rich in bird life. Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge provides approximately 118,000 acres of habitat for threatened and endangered plants and animals. The semidesert grassland supports the reintroduction of masked bobwhite quail and pronghorns.

Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge Remains Open

June 2010
Recently there were reports in the news stating that the Buenos Aries National Wildlife Refuge was closed. This information is not correct. In early 2006, a small section of land (about 3% of the refuge) along the border was closed to visitation. However, no new restrictions are in place and the majority of the refuge remains open. Today, we are seeing a decline in violent activity in the southern most area thanks to ongoing cooperation between the US Fish and Wildlife Service and US Customs and Border Protection. The Refuge will reopen the lands along the border at such time that it is determined to be safe for visitors.

http://www.fws.gov/southwest/refuges/arizona/buenosaires/index.html

McAuleysWorld: Let me see, “The Refuge will reopen the lands along the border at such time that it is determined to be safe for visitors” means the lands are in fact, still closed. Unless you are using some type of new math, 3% of 118,000 acres equals 3540 acres. Please note that the  “Federal Fish & Wildlife Service” is in agreement with the Secretary of Homeland Security who claims the border has never been safer, well actually the Fish and Wildlife staff just say it is relatively safere, but not safe enough to reopen the “closed” section of the park. On the other hand the County Sheriff, as reported above, has a significantl;y different take.

You can decide.

This says nothing about the ecological damage being done to the Park, a subject that the Federal Fish & Wildlife Service is forbiding park employees to discuss … What ecological damage you ask ….. 

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