The Invasion Is Not Happening By Mistake
Aldo Leopold and other early wilderness advocates could not have envisioned that today thousands of federal wilderness acres are being usurped by Mexican drug cartels, while U.S. officials look the other way.
The 1964 Wilderness Act that defined wilderness as “ . . . an area where the earth and community of life are untrammeled by man . . . ” began by setting aside 54 areas totaling more than 9 million acres for federal protection. By 2009, the U.S. Congress had set aside 756 “untrammeled” areas for a total of more than 110 million protected acres.
Yet today foreign nationals are entering the United States illegally on footpaths through wilderness along the southern border. Many of these lands designated as federal wilderness are virtually controlled by Mexican drug cartels. Yet the Obama administration, environmentalists, and even Arizona’s Pima County Sheriff whose jurisdiction borders Mexico, downplay the impact of the cartels and the “undocumented immigrants” trashing “untrammeled” wilderness.
With federal officials treating damage to fragile ecosystems as minor annoyances, the cumulative effect is a progressive ceding of public lands to Mexican drug lords.
In the past decade, thousands of acres of national forests, national parks, national wildlife refuges, national monuments, national wilderness areas, and other public lands have been taken over by drug and alien smugglers.