Defenders of Wildlife

More Information on the Thomas-Kyl-Salazar-Bingaman Amendment

The Thomas-Kyl-Salazar-Bingaman amendment directly addresses the need to better integrate border security with protection of our cherished public lands in the following respects:

  • It requires that the Homeland Security Secretary coordinate with the Secretaries of Agriculture and Interior to develop a border protection strategy that best protects National Parks, National Wildlife Refuges, and other federal lands along the border.  
  • It directs that all Border Patrol agents undergo natural resource training to minimize the adverse impact on natural and cultural resources from border security efforts within protected federal lands.
  • It emphasizes the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, remote camera systems, sensors and other low-impact technologies on National Parks and other protected federal lands.
  • It provides that federal land managers shall inventory and submit to the Homeland Security Secretary all costs incurred as a result of illegal border activity, and further requires the Homeland Security Secretary, with the National Park Service and Forest Service, to develop and submit to Congress joint recommendations for an appropriate recovery mechanism for such costs.   

This amendment provides, for the first time, significant and meaningful direction to the Department of Homeland Security to ensure that border security efforts do not unnecessarily harm the irreplaceable federal lands along our borders.