John S. Adams
September 27, 2011
HELENA, Mont. â€“ Border security or federal land grab?
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
That question is driving a heated debate over a controversial bill to give the Department of Homeland Security sweeping authority over federal lands within 100 miles of the U. S. border.
The proposed National Security and Federal Lands Protection Act would let the agency waive 36 federal environmental protection laws in the name of better border patrols on public lands.
Supporters say it would help U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents secure the nation’s borders. Opponents say it would give Homeland Security unchecked authority to disregard major environmental laws covering wilderness areas, national parks and wildlife refuges.