ORGAN PIPE CACTUS NATIONAL MONUMENT, Ariz. – A national monument that sits on the border with the U.S. and Mexico has reopened large swaths of land that was restricted because of dangers posed by drug smugglers.
Nearly 70 percent of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in southern Arizona had been closed since 2003 after a park ranger was gunned down by drug smugglers.
But authorities now say that increased Border Patrol enforcement and new technology has made the park safer.
The monument is 516 square miles large and is home to a number of desert species, including thousands of saguaros and some organ pipe cacti. Organ pipe cacti are a unique breed that resembles an organ pipe.
The Border Patrol says the park's newfound safety is a symbol of a more secure border.