Current Issue

Cattle and Border Security

by | Jul 26, 2015 | Farmers and Ranchers | 0 comments

As the nation spends billions of dollars on Border Security measures to secure the southern boundary of the USA, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is leaving open a gaping hole. The San Pedro River flows from Mexico into Arizona and is federally owned and managed by the BLM. This area is known for its flash flooding, forcing fences to be in constant repair and rebuilding. As a result, there are no fences on the San Pedro, nor have there been for many years. Understandably, the BLM personnel have major security concerns and therefore avoid working in the border area.

One look at the banks of this river and you can see that not only are trespass cattle from Mexico an issue, but so are people avoiding legal entry into the country.

Ranchers along the border have been dealing with these issues for years. They depend on well kept fences and constant monitoring to keep their families safe as well as their neighbors. For them, it’s more than just fencing in their livestock: its protecting our country. This is why local Sheriffs rely heavily on the border ranchers for help when needed.

The Hereford Conservation District has asked the BLM, as a part of their coordination effort, to consider putting cattle back on the San Pedro, knowing that managed grazing will not only help improve the habitat, but has the important side benefit of plugging a big hole on our border. The ranchers will keep up the fences, frequent the area, and send back Mexican cattle in trespass, all without costing the government a penny. Their constant presence alone is a big deterrent to those avoiding legal means of entering the country.

To the BLM’s credit, they are studying this alternative and considering it as an option for management of the San Pedro. Environmentalists, of course, are opposing this position. Thankfully, however, the Directors of the Hereford District have brought forward strong arguments that have shown returning managed grazing is the best solution for all.