Thank you, Chief Jeff Jones, for your request asking the Rainforest Flying Squad to vacate the area during fire season. We share your concerns during this time of extreme temperatures and the prolonged drought. We want to ensure both the forest and our people are fully protected.
Please be assured that once we receive notice that Teal Jones has stood down from active logging and road building for the fire season and that the RCMP are refraining from enforcement procedures in the area, we too, will reduce our presence in Pacheedaht unceded territory. We are now strategizing to streamline our camps and reduce our ground crews to a minimal presence, enough to keep watch on both the forest and the camps. We will maintain this minimal presence until Teal Jones returns once again to the forests to clear cut them at the earliest opportunity.
We will take every precaution with regard to fire prevention. We are developing a Wildfire Protocol, which will ban all campfires, reduce the opportunity for sparks and ensure we have the appropriate fire fighting equipment at hand. We are also consulting with the local fire chief to gain his advice and recommendations.
I would respectfully remind you that the recent NDP government deferrals in the Fairy Creek and Walbran areas do not include any of the stands of old-growth forest we are currently protecting.
You also mention that you are currently engaged in the Integrated Resource Management Planning process, stating,
“This important work will draw on the teachings of our ancestors, the wisdom of our Elders, the input of our citizens, the input of our valued partners, the best available forestry, fishery, and integrated resource management advice, and it will be guided by our sacred principles of ʔiisaak (utmost respect), ʔuuʔałuk (taking care of), and Hišuk ma c̕awak (everything is one).”
I could not agree more. I and many Pacheedaht band members await your invitation to this planning process.
Elder Bill Jones