From the Havre Daily News: Two people touting themselves as supporters of sports and recreation are traveling around the state trying to raise opposition to a bill granting sweeping powers to the U. S. Department of Homeland Security within 100 miles of the nation’s borders.
“I think everybody is in
favor of a secure border. It’s common sense, ” Helena writer Ben Lamb
said in an interview with the Havre Daily News Wednesday. “The question
is, is this federal overreach? ”
Lamb, a former director of the
Montana Wildlife Association and a board member of Helena Hunters and
Anglers Association, and Brady-area rancher Joe Perry said they are
contacting newspapers across the state to air their concerns. The two
said they want people with concerns about the bill to contact Rep. Denny
Rehberg and Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester — the bill now will be
considered in the Senate — and let them know.
Perry agreed with Lamb that giving broad authority to one agency within 100 miles of the border raises major concerns.
“Any time this has ever happened, it’s a wreck, ” he said.
bill, House Resolution 1505, is touted by supporters as a way to
prevent “turf wars” with federal agencies stifling the actions of
Homeland Security agencies like the U. S. Border Patrol, and waives
Homeland Security from having to abide by some environmental laws such
as the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act,
the National Historic Preservation Act, the Antiquities Act of 1906, the
Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and the National Wildlife RefugeSystem
Administration Act of 1966.
The bill prohibits the secretaries of the Department of the Interior
and the Department of Agriculture from impeding, restricting or
prohibiting activities of Homeland Security to achieve “operational
control” of land under their jurisdiction within 100 miles of an
Supporters of the bill say its purpose is to
provide security and prevent terrorists, illegal immigrants and illegal
drugs from crossing the border.
I can see the sportsman's concern- that they will be barred from fishing and/or hunting within 100 miles of the border. It would not surprise me that in the future, this law could be used to outlaw guns within 100 miles all in the name of Homeland security.
On the other hand, the bill supposedly only wants Homeland Security to be able to put up buildings and build roads without interference from the other Federal government agencies. My response to this would be if it is ok for Homeland Security, then it should be alright for the landowners within 100 miles of the border as well. If Homeland Security shouldn't have to be burdened by the Dept. of Interior or Dept. of Agriculture regulations, then it should ok for us common folk not to be burdened by these agencies as well.
Obviously, the environmentalists are against this bill as well as well as some sportsman.
In the end, I would not trust 1 Federal agency to take control of land within 100 miles of the borders- too many abuses can occur.
5 minutes ago