POTD: Lifesaver

Lifesaver
Organ Pipe National Monument, Arizona
2020

“Border crossing may be illegal but it shouldn’t be a death sentence” is the rationale behind the Humane Borders organization who, with full cooperation from the National Park Service, maintains water stations like this one in several locations across Organ Pipe National Monument. This cooperative activity is in interesting contrast with the section of President Trump’s border wall being built just ten miles away, as well as the recent conviction of four humanitarian workers for similar activities in the nearby Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge.

While the four humanitarian workers admittedly left those supplies at Cabeza Prieta without getting proper authorization, it is difficult to understand why their conduct was even treated as a criminal offense in the first place not to mention why they were convicted. This is especially true in light of the lack of convictions at all of any of the Bundy family for their much more egregious armed occupation of a National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon in 2016, not to mention their previous very tense armed standoff with federal officers in Nevada. Why should violent extremists get better treatment by the legal system than humanitarians?

3 thoughts on “POTD: Lifesaver”

  1. Steve Johnson

    “National” Wildlife Refuges seem to be more sensitive to the opinion of local “stakeholders” than the National Monuments are generally. It might be in the enabling legislation for those units or perhaps the organizational structure. Interior Department organizational structure is “interesting”. I know that the BLM structure is District:State:National. I believe that National Monuments have a different layer, Monument:Region:National. That regional layer dilutes the state politics to some degree, but for an area like the Staircase National Monument, where there is oil and uranium involved, the Monument managers take their orders straight from DC .

  2. Steve Johnson

    Sorry, didn’t quite finish my thought. When a Wildlife refuge is way below the radar from a distant regional unit and the local manager is ineffective or compromised, locals often dictate or guide the management of the refuge. The Bundy’s backed another long time ranching family that didn’t like the way the new refuge manager in Oregon was doing his job; i.e. enforcing the rules and regulations to the detriment of the ranching families long standing abuse of the grazing permits on the refuge.

    1. Thanks for that perspective Steve. That doesn’t seem to speak well for either the managers or the local “stakeholders” in either location I referred to–and by extension the local court judges and juries. (Although I think maybe the Bundys were not tried locally.) Obviously all my opinion which obviously differs considerably from many in those areas. Not all locals feel that way however, as the coming photos I took in Ajo, AZ will show.

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