Environmental law waiver faces northern skeptics

November 13, 2011 - 11:35 AM

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A one-size-fits-all proposal to give border agents control over environmental laws is facing critics who argue it doesn't make sense in places like Montana's Glacier National Park.

Officials in Glacier and the North Cascades National Park of Washington state say there is scant evidence the rugged and remote wilderness is used by traffickers.

A proposal in Congress would let the Border Patrol circumvent dozens of environmental laws within the 100-mile border zone with both Mexico and Canada.

Supporters say it is needed to cut through a bureaucratic gridlock where border agents have difficulty dealing with environmental laws and roadless rules.

Critics counter the approach designed for the southern border doesn't make sense in northern border wilderness places that are far different than the deserts of Texas or Arizona.