The BLM will be conducting two operations this spring to make it harder for smugglers to operate in the Sonoran Desert National Monument. The goal is to make it safer for citizens to enjoy their public land while decreasing illegal activities.
Operation Daylight involves thinning and removing plants growing along the right of ways of Interstate 8 and State Route 238 that provides cover for smugglers waiting for transportation. This operation originated in 2011 and has been successful in reducing illegal activity.
One additional benefit from the operation is the removal of the invasive plant buffelgrass that grows in the highway right of way. Luckily buffelgrass has not spread widely in the SDNM, but it is just a matter of time before it makes its way into the monument and threatens the natural and cultural resources found there. Interested in helping? Check out our buffelgrass removal event on March 1, 2012.
Another operation involves the building and placement of “Normandy” barriers to block illegal vehicle traffic in the northern part of the Table Top Wilderness. The BLM successfully employed this measure to prevent vehicle incursions in the southern part of the Table Top Wilderness in 2011.
The BLM should be applauded for taking these actions to make the SDNM safe for visitors. After all it is our public land and we deserve the opportunity to visit and enjoy these lands. It is too bad that many of our fellow citizens fail to see that their actions, purchasing illegal drugs and hiring undocumented aliens, cost so much more than what they spend on drugs or save by hiring undocumented aliens.