Tuesday, December 1, 2015
1012 C Street  •  Floresville, TX 78114  •  Phone: 830-216-4519  •  Fax: 830-393-3219  • 

WCN Site Search

Lost & Found

*Includes FREE photo online! mywcn.com/lostandfound

VideoLOST BLACK BULL WITH WHITE &BLACK Face. Off FM2579 & CR126 NOV.28 comes to Whooo Call 818-416-3372 Ask for Edward
Lost: Small black male dog, white on chest, has Harley Davidson collar, answers to Spaz, last seen Nov. 10 on corner of Eagle Ridge/Hwy. 181. Call/text 210-723-5893.
More Lost & Found ads ›

Help Wanted

The San Antonio River Authority is looking for highly qualified individuals for the Riparian Technician position. High School Diploma/GED required plus 1 year experience in operation and maintenance of landscape or agricultural equipment. We offer a great benefit package for employees. If interested, apply at www.sara-tx.org for more information.
Certified Medical Assistant for busy primary care office, experience preferred, bilingual a plus,current CPR certification, no weekends, benefits. References required. Submit resume to P.O.Box 40, Floresville, Texas 78114.
More Help Wanted ads ›

Featured Videos

Video Vault ›
You’ve been granted free access to this subscribers only article.

Agriculture Today

Law and order on the border

E-Mail this Story to a Friend
Print this Story
January 4, 2011 | 3,028 views | Post a comment

Dudley Williams can see Mexico from his ranch on the common and conflicted international border in southern New Mexico. He has also seen firsthand the problems caused by smuggling and other illegal activities that are part of the daily landscape for ranchers and farmers all along the 1,969-mile border that stretches from Brownsville, Texas, to San Diego, Calif.

When word got out that federal legislation (S 1689) had been drafted to create federal wilderness areas along this border, Williams and other ranchers were rightly concerned. Law enforcement agencies, especially the U.S. Border Patrol, could be hamstrung when it comes to enforcing law and order along the border, due to strict wilderness-area rules. Strict limits on vehicle use in designated wilderness areas is one example. As rancher Williams points out, “You can’t even ride a bicycle in a federal wilderness area.”

After hearing about the proposed expansion of wilderness areas in their border region, ranchers in New Mexico organized and have worked diligently to inform the non-ranching public about all sides of the debate. Their organization started out with a handful of families and grew to a coalition of more than 800 businesses and organizations opposed to this move. The New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau joined the effort and produced a documentary covering the issue.

Pressure from the ranching group led to some changes that reflect their concerns about public safety and national security, including allowing low-level surveillance flights and some law-enforcement buffer zones. However, due to their experiences with other failed federal promises, these ranchers remain concerned.

The group has come up with alternate land designations that would protect the lands in question but keep them out from under what they consider the stringent strings attached formally to federal wilderness designations.

In support of their position, the ranchers point to the ongoing security concerns created by lawlessness in other locked-up federal land areas on the Arizona border, including the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge and the Organ Pipe National Monument.

The rancher/farmer group is also concerned about talk that there may be a last-minute move in the current lame-duck session of Congress to pass an omnibus public lands bill, which could include the quarter of a million acres of proposed wilderness in New Mexico, on and near the U.S.-Mexico border.

Janice Kephart, an internationally recognized border security expert, recently issued a report for the Center for Immigration Studies in which she concludes that designation of new border wilderness areas would “provide the Border Patrol with little ability and little incentive to do its job under law, let alone state, local, and other federal law enforcement.” She says actual conservation of public lands would be better served by “protecting our public safety and national security with adequate law enforcement and infrastructure.” The ranchers who live and work in this rugged outlaw country are inclined to agree with that assessment.

Erik Ness is a new contributor to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Focus on Agriculture commentary series. He is a media consultant and a retired staff member of the New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau.

Your Opinions and Comments

Be the first to comment on this story!

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Not a subscriber?
Subscriber, but no password?
Forgot password?

Agriculture Today Archives

Coupons ag-right
Voncille Bielefeld homeAllstate & McBride RealtyClarity WellDrama KidsHeavenly Touch homeTriple R DC Expertsauto chooser

  Copyright © 2007-2015 Wilson County News. All rights reserved. Web development by Drewa Designs.