Let's go hiking!

I enjoy the occasional rough and rocky trail. Sometimes I'll ignore the dirt part of a trail and just step from rock to rock as a bit of boulder hopping practice. The picture to the right is of a trail in Arizona, and it looks like it might serve the same purpose. However, instead of avoiding the dirt parts of the trail, I'd avoid this:

Discarded pants and plastic bags are caught in a sotol plant. Hundreds of discarded water jugs are only the beginning of the problem. Jumex drink cans, tuna tins, Coca-Cola containers, pants, shoes, women's underwear and discarded feminine hygiene products, chips and bread bags, emptied canned fruit containers, hats and a tequila bottle blanket the landscape...

To Cottingham and her fellow hikers, the problem seems overwhelming. It's just one example of pristine Sonoran Desert turned into a trash dump. Many southern Arizonans see it every day. About $2 million in newly approved federal funds should help address - though admittedly not solve - the problem in the short term, according to the Arizona congressman who helped secure the money. But some fear it's like trying to dam a river with a wine cork...

An environmental specialist with the tribe, Ken Cronin, says about 1,500 immigrants sneak through the reservation daily. Each leaves an average of eight pounds of trash - totaling six tons - a day, he said.

"It's just blanketed," Cronin says of the tribal land. "It's pretty tremendous; there's a pretty severe visual impact."

Yet another indirect cost that labor-intensive industries are sticking us with so we can enjoy "cheap" lettuce and "cheap" chicken.

Where's the Sierra Club on this? Same place they always are.