Safety in Southern AZ & NM BLM Administered Lands


March 27, 2011, 03:34 AM
I'm not sure if this is in the appropriate forum, and please move it otherwise. I just couldn't really think where else to post it.

I'm taking a trip in late August/early September out west and am wanting to camp/hike/fish at as many of the vast BLM lands out there as possible. After doing some further research on the internet and planning my itinerary, I came across more than a few disturbing articles that recount how unsafe and downright dangerous some of these lands are due to human and drug smuggling through them by our neighbors down south.

From what I've gathered, most of these lands are in or occurring within a radius of 100 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border. Some of the ones mentioned in the articles were Organ Pipe Cactus Natl. Monument, Ironwood Forest Natl. Monument, Sonoran Desert Monument, (Damn, is Phoenix even safe!?), Buenos Aires NWR, and the Coronado Natl. Forest.

Basically I'm wondering if anyone from the southern AZ/NM area can verify this or add/subtract from this list of dangerous BLM lands. Should I avoid this beautiful area of the country all together? Has it gotten better/worse?

I will be bringing my rifles with me, but I'd like to avoid any confrontation, if possible, as these smugglers seem indiscreet in their choice of targets!

Thanks for your time and I look forward to your replies.

If you enjoyed reading about "Safety in Southern AZ & NM BLM Administered Lands" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
March 27, 2011, 10:35 AM
I would reccomend using either areas that have other campers/rangers, or if you are the loner type, moving to areas above the Phoenix line. If you have a group of people that are armed, you can give it a go, but many of the wide open spaces down along the wide open border are not safe at all at night, or even daytime many times.

March 27, 2011, 11:50 AM
Armoredman pretty well summed it up.

There are areas that the majority of deer hunters will not go due to the criminal activity taking place. This is during deer season even.


March 27, 2011, 01:25 PM
Who says we don't still need a militia?

March 27, 2011, 01:33 PM
The "donated" lands had quite a few provisions for extra money for the border patrol/homeland security to to do things like run drones over them.

I own a ranch with 20 miles of the Mexican border in NM, and live within 40 miles of the border, very near an existing wilderness area and very near one that was voted into existence last year.

All the problems I have heard of have occurred on the other side of the border and I have never had a problem myself with that sort of thing. I've had a few run ins with Americans doing things like getting high/drunk and then rolling Jeeps and showing up on my doorstep.

If I was out to have fun, I'd probably keep an east/west interstate between Mexico and myself just as a safety net, but there generally isn't anything to worry about except in a few spots.

March 28, 2011, 01:51 PM
Appreciate the replies. Think I'll play it safe and stay north of Phoenix, checking out the areas up around there. Haven't seen much of these areas of the country, and it'll give me a chance to see a bit more of parts of Texas and Oklahoma I haven't been. Thanks.

March 28, 2011, 02:56 PM
I have a friend who lives about 3 miles from Mexico in the Huachuca mountains of southern Az. He says that the ones north of the border are more trouble than the smugglers.

If you enjoyed reading about "Safety in Southern AZ & NM BLM Administered Lands" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!