Scenes from the Border
Pedialyte, toothbrushes, backpacks, deodorant sticks, stuffed animals and goodbye letters are items that border patrol agents regularly find throughout the Arizona desert. So I decided to check it out for myself. The pictures I’d seen in the media showed hundreds of backpacks a foot deep choking dry riverbeds that run throughout the Southwest.
I made some phone calls and got in touch with a public affairs specialist for the Bureau of Land Management. She agreed to take me out to Ironwood Forest National Monument, north of the border, to photograph whatever we could find.
I had no idea how much trash was being strewn among cacti and creosote bushes and under mesquite trees. Most of the clothing was so rotted and sun-damaged that it fell apart if you picked it up. It was a “light” day according to Kirsten Lenhardt, the public affairs rep. She said they normally find much more waste. But what I found was still interesting and definitely told its own story.