Will Bingaman Jam SB 1689 Down New Mexico's Throat?

Note - News New Mexico has a copy of a letter sent to Senator Jeff Bingaman recently regarding his attempts to jam Senate Bill 1689 down the throats of New Mexico's citizens. We publish excerpts here as we find the communication quite compelling.
Jeff Bingaman
Dear Senator Bingaman: You responded by letter dated December 1, 2010 to my email expressing opposition to S.1689, the Organ Mountains – Desert Peaks Wilderness Act. I now wish to add some accuracy to your comments, which, sadly, are in wide variance with the facts in important areas.
You stated that “President George H.W. Bush and his Secretary of Interior Manual Lujan recommended certain BLM lands in Dona Ana County for wilderness designation”. That statement is true, but you fail to mention that they recommended against wilderness designations for the Sierra de Las Uvas Mountains and the Robledo Mountains, both Wilderness Study Areas which the Interior Department determined did not meet wilderness characteristics. They recommended these areas be returned to multiple-use. Nevertheless, these areas are proposed for wilderness designations in S.1689.
In addition, S.1689 includes proposed wilderness designations in Broad Canyon and in the E. Potrillo Mountains, which were extensively studied by BLM and were not even designated as Wilderness Study Areas, due to lack of wilderness characteristics. You stated that “the City of Las Cruces and Dona Ana County held numerous local meetings, and then forwarded their findings to the congressional delegation”. This is not entirely true. The findings to which you refer came only from the Dona Ana County Commission and so grossly misrepresented the facts from the 16 member city/county committee, the City of Las Cruces chose not to join the County in endorsing the letter you received. The committee process, in fact, was abruptly discontinued with a statement from the moderator, a city employee, that “it had become obvious no consensus would be reached.”
The actual “findings” of the committee, as reflected in the final report of the moderator, were wilderness designations in only 54,000 acres of the more than 250,000 acres proposed. The committee strongly favored withdrawal of the other lands or, in some cases, returning the lands to multiple-use. Withdrawal would provide that those lands could not be sold or exchanged, or leased for drilling or mining-----provisions far less restrictive than wilderness, but which would protect and preserve the lands in perpetuity under federal ownership.

Your letter describes changes in the legislation to address the “border security challenge”. Wilderness types are even suggesting such designations along the border will now “improve border security” without elaboration. It’s important to realize that they’re comparing this legislation to earlier, more unreasonable versions. That’s the “improvement”. A clever turn of phrase but tortured logic to be sure. One need only look at pictures of Organ Pipe National Monument, AZ for a glimpse of our future if your legislation becomes law: a safe haven for alien criminals, signs prohibiting American access for fear of contact with these miscreants, and square miles of garbage. For several reasons, there are no better experts to address questions of border security and to predict the outcome of border area wilderness designations than the National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers (NAFBPO). Their members have served thousands of man years on the border. They know the area. Moreover, their point of view is not corrupted by having a current job to protect. NAFBPO held a Border Security Forum in Las Cruces, in which they warned S.1689 would create corridors for illegal entry and drug and human trafficking in the Potrillo Mountains area, and would hinder law enforcement and fire protection in all areas proposed for wilderness in S.1689.
A recent report by Janice Kephart, Director of National Security Issues for Center for Immigration Studies titled “Will New Mexico Become the Next Arizona” supports and expands the conclusions of NAFBPO. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency has predicted that the stepped-up enforcement efforts in Arizona will bring increases in smuggling and other criminal activity to New Mexico. You also stated in your letter that “it is my sense that there is broad community support in Dona Ana County for this legislation…”. I submit there is much broader and deeper opposition, which unfortunately you and Senator Udall continue to ignore. The wilderness proposal became a major issue in the recent election, helping to defeat at least two incumbent state legislators, who openly supported this legislation.
There exists a coalition of more than 800 businesses and organizations, plus a petition signed by 2,250 individuals opposing the legislation. The pro-wilderness equivalent lists only about 215 “businesses and organizations”. So, opponents of record total at least several thousand business owners, employees and members compared to a few hundred proponents. This is not speculation.



Anonymous said...

Bingaman is your typical corrupt sleazy politician who employs gross exaggerations and outright lies in his evil rhetoric to impose unwanted laws upon an unsuspecting constituency. This man disgusts me beyond words. Good riddance to Jeff Steinborn, Bingaman's ilk. Why not also tell us that drug trafficking also benefits the local economy you dirt bags?

Anonymous said...

Bingaman is must being bought by the Juarez Cartel. That is the only anwser to why he would keep pushing the wilderness is an area that only reason to make a wilderness is for the protection of drub smugglers.

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