Tuesday, August 25, 2009

California Fires and Border Insecurity

This Time Magazine article details the linkage between California fires and drug trafficking:
The damage they do to society is well-known, but drug traffickers, it turns out, also aren't the most environmentally-minded campers. Law enforcement officials say that a wildfire now raging in Santa Barbara's Los Padres National park, burning more than 136 square miles, was sparked by a cooking fire started by the hirelings of a Mexican drug cartel which was growing thousands of marijuana plants in the remote canyons.
Far from an isolated incident, the Los Padres fire, according to law enforcement agents, highlights an alarming trend: the invasion of California wilderness and parklands by armed Mexican drug cartels. Firefighters discovered more than 30,000 pot plants growing near the Santa Barbara blaze. Pushed north by a Mexican army crack-down, tougher border controls, and violent gang wars back home that have led to hundreds of killings, these cartels view California's 31 million acres of wilderness as a green El Dorado for marijuana cultivation. Not only is it closer to millions of eager American pot-smokers, but this vast expanse of land is simply too big for the state's sheriffs and forest rangers to monitor.
What happened to the initiatives to move National Guard troops to our southern border?

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