Page 2 of 3
The Squamish Nation draft land use plan was released to the public for comment this past June. It splits the area into four different zone designations:
Forest Stewardship Zone allows a mix of cultural, forestry, hunting, tourism and outdoor interests. Most of the traditional territory falls under this category;
Sensitive Areas areas that require special care to protect wildlife and cultural values;
Restoration Areas places where logging or other developments have harmed the natural values;
Wild Spirit Places wilderness areas to be retained for cultural and spiritual use. This can include hunting or fishing, but no industrial development is allowed.
Squamish Nation Chief Bill Williams says the second draft should be ready by the end of September, and the feedback to date has been extremely supportive. He says placing the document on the bands Web site www.squamish.net has opened up the proposal to the whole community.
"Our site normally gets around 1,000 hits a week, but the day the Land Use Plan was put on we received 5,000 hits, and more than 70,000 hits within the first three weeks," he says.
As expected, many of the place names under the Squamish Nation plan have aboriginal title in place of their English ones, including the overall territory Xay Temixw or Sacred Lands. So what of the name Stoltmann? Would that tribute disappear under the new proposal? Foy believes it doesnt really matter.
"Randy Stoltmanns memory is exceedingly important. He got us interested in this issue, and the Squamish Nation understands that," he explains. "But its time to turn the clock back and get those First Nation names back on the land. Squamish Nation has done such a fine job and now we finally have a year of peace in the Elaho. If we achieve protection for these lands that Randy loved so much, I think he would be pretty darn happy with that, and I think Squamish Nation would find their own way to honour Randy, and things will unfold as they should."
In the event of Squamish Nation gaining governance of its claimed territories, Foy believes they would make better managers of the Elaho than the current or past provincial governments. And he says he is not wearing rose-coloured glasses when looking at potential problems, such as public access restrictions or further environmental damage.
"After working 20 years in this business of protecting natural environments I feel the Squamish Nation can do no worse than the provincial governments, and will probably do a lot better. The Squamish Nation has achieved more towards getting this issue resolved over the past year than any other group."
May 18, 2013, 2:00 PM
Investigation into Paradise Valley water source for mountain resort continues More...
May 17, 2013, 11:02 AM
Sea to Sky Highway to be intensely monitored for high-risk driving More...
May 16, 2013, 10:00 AM
Store clerk put knife-wielding man into a headlock, chased him off More...