• Sonoran Desert at Organ Pipe NM

    Organ Pipe Cactus

    National Monument Arizona

International Border Vehicle Barrier

International Vehicle Barrier

This steel fence is designed to stop car and truck traffic that used to drive from Mexico, through the wilderness of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, to enter into the United States illegally.

In 2004, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument undertook the work of constructing a vehicle barrier along the south boundary at the Mexico border. It stretches 30 miles of our southern boundary.

The barrier was designed to stop vehicles from driving around the US customs offices in Lukeville on Hwy 85, or up through the desert wilderness instead of using Hwy 85.

In 2006, the NPS finished building this steel fence. Although this three-year construction project was costly, the natural and cultural resources it has protected are priceless, not to mention visitor safety, officer safety and our national security.

 
photo of vehicle tracks left in the wilderness of ORPI
The damage left behind by vehicles traveling through the sensitive desert wilderness is lasting and extremely detrimental to native plant and animal species.
Sue Rutman, NPS Photo
 

Before the vehicle barrier was constructed, vehicles were driving into the U.S. illegally and then across country through the national monument. Several hundred miles of off-road vehicle routes were documented in 2004; resource damage was severe.

The good news is, the vehicle barrier has stopped nearly all off-road vehicle traffic through Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. The barrier has not been breached and monitoring has revealed a dramatic decline in illegal off-road vehicle activity.

 

Did You Know?

A photo of a barrel cactus with flowers

It's not easy, practical, or legal to get "water" from a barrel cactus within the Monument. Even if you tried to get past the spines, it would be like sucking on a bad-tasting dish sponge. The best thing to do is fill a canteen with good drinking water before leaving home.