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Border Canyon in San Diego Set to Be Filled In

A San Diego County canyon, used in the past by cattle rustlers and more recently by illegal immigrants as a border crossing between Mexico and the United States, is slated to be wiped off the map.

The federal government's project to fill in Smuggler's Gulch with dirt is scheduled to be completed by May. The government has lopped off the top of nearby hills and shoved some 1.7 million cubic yards of earth into the pass and neighboring Goat Canyon.

Environmentalists fear that the project will harm endangered fauna, the Tijuana Estuary and Native American sites.

But Border Patrol officials say the move, which includes installing lighting, fencing and surveillance cameras, will help them control the porous border.

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