Here in Mexifornia, this year's end-of-summer blues has the added downer of the budget crash from decades of open borders. Many state parks are being closed to save money, the legislature is currently negotiating about how many tens of thousands of prison inmates to release onto California streets etc. etc. (Some ammo prices have doubled in a year, I heard the other day at the range.)
Mexicans know what goes on here as well as anyone. Drug cartel honchos have used the opportunity afforded by less law enforcement to boost their marijuana cultivation business—on American territory. A July 28 San Francisco Chronicle headline proclaimed, Mexican growers having big pot year in state.
"Mexican drug traffickers have expanded their marijuana-growing operations in California parks as state and local governments have tightened spending and slashed jobs and services."
The park system—and the country, for that matter—was designed by and for responsible, freedom-loving Americans, who regard protected lands as special places to be preserved for future generations. American hikers who love exploring the unspoiled outdoors operate on the honor system, carry out their trash and snap photos of mountain flowers rather than pick them.
So when Mexican cartels invade American parks, it's a case of vicious wolves among sheep. Many of the pot patches are discovered by hikers and hunters who are not prepared to face foreign nationals packing AK-47s. The culture clash can be dangerous for unarmed campers, like the ones who were chased out of Los Padres National Forest by hostile growers last spring.
Americans have already been shot by Mexican gangsters for being in the wrong patch at the wrong time:
"The immediate danger to California citizens from the cartels has grown in the last decade. In 2000, a father and his 8-year-old son were both shot after stumbling onto a marijuana plantation in El Dorado County during a hunting trip. Though wounded, they survived the encounter. In February 2008, a Santa Rosa man was murdered by cartel growers after entering a plantation in the southern part of Lake County. June 2009 saw growers in Lassen County open fire on law enforcement, wounding two sheriff's deputies and leading to one grower being killed in the exchange."
"'There have been plenty of shootings related to these operations now,' [Commander Jackie] Long said."There's no doubt they can be violent."
[Task force hits drug cartel, largest bust in Amador history, Amador Ledger Dispatch, August 14, 2009]
The cartels have become more entrenched in public lands because the situation is a piece of cake for them. In some respects it is easier for them to grow vast quantities of marijuana on America's public lands (where 80 percent of seized pot has been found) than to raise the stuff in Mexico and smuggle it across the border, although they obviously do both. Set-up is relatively inexpensive. The cartel bosses just employ a few of their countrymen to rip out the native plants (which the parks are supposed to preserve) and install the plumbing to pipe in water and poisonous chemicals required to grow quality bud in what's usually a challenging growing environment.
The Mexicans' thoroughly toxic contamination of land and water means that many sites will not go back to their natural state for many years, if ever. And there's a danger beyond gunfire and poison: fire. The La Brea fire that destroyed 90,000 acres in Los Padres National Forest was started on August 8 by a campfire of marijuana growers, according to local authorities. The Mexicans were tending 30,000 plants and escaped.
But lobbying for resources to protect our treasured national parks from Mexican marijuana mobsters is just too politically incorrect an issue for Establishment environmentalist organizations like the Sierra Club.
Law enforcement has not been completely asleep, however. The National Guard has been brought in to help local police and park personnel in this season's Operation Save Our Sierra. The effort coordinated more than 300 persons from 17 agencies to take out thousands of plants this season.
What they found should alarm any conservationist:
"Operation S.O.S. removed more than 30 miles of irrigation pipe, 17,000 pounds of garbage and 4,050 pounds of fertilizer from state and national forests in July. Nonetheless, it will be years before the sites are returned to their natural states, and the cost of restoration can exceed $10,000 per acre.
"The operation also removed more than 400,000 marijuana plants valued at more than $1.1 billion, seized 32 weapons and made 88 arrests." [California Guard Helps to Save Forests From Marijuana Growers, DefenseLink News, August 31, 2009]
It's laudable that agencies can mobilize human resources to good use. But they are still operating on a hiking bootstring. The National Park Service received an additional $3.3 million this year to combat growers at western parks, including Yosemite, Sequoia and Redwood national parks. That's a tiny amount for the existing problem.
By comparison, between 2000 and 2005, Washington sent 60 helicopters and $4 billion to Colombia to eradicate coca.
The increasing invasion of Mexican mobsters this year was indicated by a new boldness in their locating pot patches closer to popular visitor spots, as indicated by cheerful headline: Tourists at Calif. park rerouted due to pot garden. [By Garance Burke, AP, August 27, 2009]
"Garden"? Apparently, some MSM editor thought some gardening was going on.
But in fact part of Sequoia National Park had just been shut down as a pot SWAT operation was going down just half a mile from the beautiful Crystal Cave. It was the first time that Sequoia closed an exhibit because of a drug bust—another troubling marker of escalating aggression.
National parks and other natural preserves used to be a safe escape from the noise and everyday tensions of cities. But that's no longer true, as a result of open borders.
Needless to say, the reaction of Treason Lobbyists to the deteriorating conditions in the America's parks has been to wave the PC flag. When the Forest Service tried to warn the public of possible danger, the agency was castigated as being discriminatory:
"A federal warning to beware of campers in national forests who eat tortillas, drink Tecate beer and play Spanish music because they could be armed marijuana growers is racial profiling, an advocate for Hispanic rights said Friday.
"The warnings were issued Wednesday by the U.S. Forest Service, which is investigating how much marijuana is being illegally cultivated in Colorado's national forests following the recent discovery of more than 14,000 plants in Pike National Forest.
The U.S. Forest Service quickly retracted the warning."
Warning on possible pot growers called profiling [AP, August 28, 2009].
In fact, of course, the idea that forests are filled with nature-loving "Hispanic campers" is misleading, given what seem to be deep-rooted cultural proclivities. Despite efforts of groups like the Sierra Club to diversify, camping remains a largely white activity.
On September 27, PBS is rolling out its big new Ken Burns film, The National Parks: America's Best Idea. We already know that the documentary will be preachy and will use trees as an excuse to promote diversity. But the film will also be filled with breathtaking photography of spectacular wild places, with the intent of informing viewers about Americans' natural heritage.
Some viewers may be inspired to visit dazzling iconic places like Yosemite and Sequoia—both of which have been plundered by the foreign criminal invasion. New visitors should rightly feel cheated when they are warned to be cautious and report suspicious activity when exploring. The promise of pristine nature—the prime objective of the national parks—has been violated, and with the complicity of Washington.
Just another day in America's ongoing immigration disaster.
Brenda Walker (email her) lives in Northern California and publishes two websites, LimitsToGrowth.org and ImmigrationsHumanCost.org. She wrote about the destruction of our natural heritage last year: Mexican Gangsters Converting America's National Parks Into Gigantic Marijuana Patches.