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What Americans Should Know on National Public Lands Day

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 24, 2010 - Tomorrow is National Public Lands Day—a day that should be celebrated with family trips to all of our public lands.  Unfortunately, safe family trips to some of our public lands on the southern and northern border are impossible.

Most Americans don’t realize that many of our public lands along both the northern and southern U.S. borders are being destroyed due to environmental regulations that prohibit Border Patrol from securing these areas.  These federal lands have become a highway for criminal activity, including drugs smugglers, human traffickers and potential terrorists.  This has led to escalated violence and caused severe destruction of the environment.  (See pictures below.)

Trash on BLM land in the Roskruge-Recortado Mountains, 2008.
Trash on BLM land in the Roskruge-Recortado Mountains, 2008.
Destroyed cactus blocking a roadway in a U.S. National Park in Arizona.
Destroyed cactus blocking a roadway in a U.S. National Park in Arizona.

We need a better approach.  Our land managers must see the bigger picture and we must ensure that government agencies do not interfere with Border Patrol’s ability to protect our federal lands.  If the ultimate goal is to protect the environment, it makes no sense to impose policies that result in increased environmental damages.

For more information on issues facing our public lands, visit http://republicans.resourcescommittee.house.gov/border.

Contact: Committee Staff

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