Tension between Whatcom farmers, Border Patrol



SEATTLE (AP) — There’s an uneasy truce along the U.S.-Canadian border in Whatcom County. Both sides are trying to reduce tensions.

The sides in this dispute are swarming Border Patrol agents and farmers who feel their lands — if not their rights — are being trampled.

The Seattle Times reports the patrol has backed off the low-level late-night helicopter patrols that rattled residents. One man who shined a spotlight on a helicopter in September 2010, Wayne Groen, was convicted of interfering with the operation of an aircraft and sentenced to two months in federal detention. Hundreds of residents protested and complained of being treated like drug runners or illegal crossers.

The Border Patrol says it’s trying to be more responsive by listening to complaint and holding community meetings.


Information from: The Seattle Times, http://www.seattletimes.com