National treasure is what many people think when the Sonoran Desert National Monument is discussed or experienced, but all too often issues such as human and drug smuggling spoil these thoughts. Several Americans I have spoken to actually express fear of going to the Sonoran Desert National Monument. No one wants to be confronted with criminal activity. We depend upon our leaders in Washington, DC to enact laws and policies for the good of all Americans. I believe that they have let us down. Enjoying our public land is our right and we should refuse to be intimidated from doing so.
The Sonoran Desert National Monument south of Interstate 8 receives a lot of negative attention from the media because of the illegal activities occurring there. Most of these activities happen at night in order to escape detection from law enforcement authorities and rival smugglers.
Since 2009 I have spent a considerable amount of time in the Sonoran Desert National Monument, including the area south of Interstate 8. I have not encountered any smugglers or undocumented aliens though I have seen evidence of their activities in the form of trash, abandoned vehicles and resource damage. I have also heard many testimonials about legitimate monument users seeing smugglers and undocumented aliens. In all cases there was no interaction between users and smugglers other than uncomfortable glances at each other.
The Friends of the Sonoran Desert National Monument want Americans to feel safe about going to the Sonoran Desert National Monument. To accomplish this goal the Friends of the Sonoran Desert National Monument, in partnership with the Bureau of Land Management, is sponsoring several events during the fall of 2012.
Public participation in these events will be fun ways to show our elected officials and the smugglers we will not be intimidated and that we demand to access and enjoy our public land heritage.
Bureau of Land Management rangers will be on hand.
September 29 National Public Lands Day Buffelgrass Removal
November 4 Petroglyph Hike in the Table Top Wilderness
November 17 Juan de Anza National Historic Trail Hike
December 1 Table Top Wilderness Clean-up
Registration is required for these events. To register please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org