Howard Buffett (Warren's son) has bought himself a Sherrif's Dept.
With Daddy's money. This is going on, essentially in my back yard. (One of my good friends is a next door neighbor).
Over the past several years, 64-year-old Howard Buffett — using wealth supplied by his father — has been waging his own border war in Cochise County. This has included the arming of a private volunteer group, importing privately employed enforcement personnel, and funding the chemical defoliation of a substantial portion of the county’s border with Mexico.
Buffett has also purchased the loyalty of — and influence over — the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO). He has done this through a steady stream of gifts and grants totaling tens of millions of dollars, used to buy guns, vehicles, surveillance equipment, helicopters, and other toys.
The defoliant is sprayed by helicopter, kills mesquite trees, and yet is "inert" and harmless, once it hits the ground...near the headwaters of the San Pedro River, and the beginning of the 35-mile-long San Pedro Nation Riparian Conservation Area (locally known as "SPRiNCA", in spite of the fact that it jumbles the letters a bit. Go ahead...try to pronounce SPNRCA!)
[... W]e are now implementing a program, which we started last year, where we are going to try to clear a mile deep for about 38 miles of the border of all the invasive species of creosote and other invasive species. This will change the face of how the border looks for these ranchers,” Buffett said. “For one thing, they are concerned about their safety, which is, of course, one issue. The other is that they want to reclaim their lands. So, this is a water and grassland conservation project and it is also a border security project in one.”
Creosote, mesquite, and acacia targeted by the border defoliation program are all endemic to Cochise County, according to local experts, though some ranchers claim the plants have invaded areas that were once grasslands.
The targeted defoliation took place along approximately 75 miles of the county’s 83-mile border with Mexico.
At the time, according to Gonzalez, approximately 4,000 cumulative acres of mesquite trees — not accounting for targeted areas of creosote and other trees/shrubs — would be eradicated along this corridor.
Back when the spraying was first proposed, the chemical was listed as 2,4,5-T. Some of you will recognize that as the (shortened) name of glyphosate's uglier brother, and more lethal component of Agent Orange. Lots more info, in a fairly long article by Phoenix New Times reporter Beau Hodai: