Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Steamboat Springs I attended a “meet and greet” last week for state Rep. Randy Baumgardner. One of the subjects discussed at the meeting was Baumgardner’s personally funded trip last August to the border of Arizona and Mexico. Baumgardner showed a video depicting several of the trails used by illegal immigrants within the boundary of the United States. A large number of those trails were within state and federal park systems.
As I watched the video, I became shocked to see the sheer volume of trash strewn by those traversing the trails. The amount of trash has been estimated at millions of tons. I even saw a large number of instances of trash being deposited as these immigrants walked along.
I also was stunned at the nature of the trash which included, among other items, hypodermic needles, a variety of what appeared to be prescription drugs in plastic wrappers; backpacks, some of which ultimately proved to be filled with drugs including marijuana, cocaine and heroin; carpet; tires; gasoline cans; plastic items; nondegradable food wrap; plastic water bottles; and rotting food items.
Conservatives are sometimes painted as being indifferent or uncaring about the environment. I know a fairly large number of fiscal and social conservatives and this characterization is absolutely unfair and untrue of my entire cohort. I personally care very much about the environment.
An American does not have to be an “environmentalist” in the Greenpeace mold to be sickened by these images; I certainly was.
Our state and federal governments spend hundreds of millions of dollars each year trying to keep our park systems and wilderness areas pristine.
The tons of trash and garbage that litter these immigration trails are expensive to taxpayers and pollute our precious scenic resources.
Although defiling our lands is only one of myriad issues not being addressed by our federal government on the issue of illegals transcending our border, it is one that cannot be ignored.
Our borders must be secured for reasons of national security.
Colorado lawmakers also must address the negative impacts the growing numbers of undocumented residents have on our state budget, especially as they face a billion-dollar shortfall next year.