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Nov 20, 2012

Crooked Tree residents aiming straight for regulators

The residents of Crooked Tree protested on Friday to have the Belize Audubon Society removed from the village. The residents say the co-manager of the wildlife sanctuary has implemented regulations that have put a stop to activities such as fishing and logging, which have earned them their bread and butter for hundreds of years. But the Audubon has not budged since the protest; they simply issued a release saying the villagers should take it up with regulatory agencies. They were also invited to a meeting on Saturday night in the village that was to include personnel from the Forestry and Fisheries Departments. The vice chairman of the village, Steve Perriott, says however that none of them showed up. So a committee was formed to reach out to all residents of Crooked Tree and Perriott says they’re taking their plight to the government.

 

Steve Perriott, Vice Chairman, Crooked Tree Village

“We did have the meeting and as expected no one from Forestry, Fisheries or Audubon showed up. We did however accomplish a few things; we formed a committee, the Crooked Tree Action Committee. Rudolph Crawford is the Chairman, I’m the Vice Chairman of that committee, Javier is the Treasurer, Ava Tillett is the Assistant Treasurer, James Dawson, Icilma Crawford and Dudley Tillett are all members of the committee. We also agreed that tonight we’re going to meet with the fishermen in Crooked Tree and the fisherwomen and we’re gonna come up with a proposal. Thursday night we should be meeting with the loggers and again come up with a proposal. We’re going to be circulating a petition shortly in the village.”

 

Delahnie Bain

Steve Perriott

“So once you’ve met with the fisher folk and the loggers and so on, what happens next?”

 

Steve Perriott

“Then we’re gonna try to make an appointment with the proper people. Right now we’ve been talking to Audubon and Audubon really can’t say what they’re gonna do; they have to be told by someone what to do. What it comes down to is three dollars and ninety cents a day. Nowhere in the world, an institution could occupy an entire village for three dollars and ninety cents a day. It doesn’t benefit us in the least; it actually takes away from us actually making some money. So we would like to sit down and talk but the hardest thing is to get to sit down and at least hold a conversation.”

 

Delahnie Bain

“Well, Audubon has basically said that you guys need to take it up with the regulatory agencies or something to that effect.”

 

Steve Perriott

“Yeah, that’s going to be the next step because Audubon seems to be only the police for these agencies.  But all we want to do is to have the opportunity to sit down and talk with the relevant authorities and come up with a reasonable solution because Crooked Tree people, we will continue cutting logs, we will continue fishing, we will continue doing it responsibly because if we weren’t, we would not be arguing about logs and fish today. All we want to do is work out a compromise.”

 

Perriott says the petition that will be circulated in the village will be to get a clear picture of how many villagers want Audubon out and how many want them to stay and work things out. He also says they are ready to meet with the Audubon reps at any given time.

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1 Response for “Crooked Tree residents aiming straight for regulators”

  1. Cat says:

    Crooked Tree- Organization is key! Engagement of residents is the way forward…obviously BAS hasn’t been engaging residents appropriately!

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