TNG Tribal Chair has message for area log truckers

More than 25 local log trucks have been impacted in recent weeks by what appears to be an act of sabotage.

More than 25 local log trucks have been impacted in recent weeks by what appears to be an act of sabotage.

Staff Sgt. Del Byron confirmed Tuesday police are investigating who could be responsible for digging as many as five holes in the Gaspard-Churn Forest Service Road and filling them with large nails.

The nails have found their way into the tires of multiple logging trucks hauling out of the area, costing thousands of dollars in lost time as well as tire repairs and replacements.

“It’s very, very disappointing,” said one local logging truck operations manager, who wished to remain anonymous for fear of being further targeted.

Tsilhqot’in National Government Tribal Chairman Joe Alphonse first alerted the Tribune to the problem Friday and said he wanted truckers affected by the crime to know his government in no way supports what’s happening on the logging road.

“We want the truckers to know that we have nothing to do with this,” Alphonse said.

“We would never encourage anyone to do something like that. If we have a problem with something we go through the proper channels. Only cowards would do this.”

Alphonse said he can’t even say whether the persons responsible would be First Nations or non-First Nations, but he does encourage the police to investigate the matter as a crime.

“We’re talking about people’s lives and their livelihoods,” Alphonse said of the risks involved in spiking roads. “We all need to be helping each other during these tough economic times, not working against each other.”

Last week the TNG also issued a news release urging the provincial and Canadian governments to step up to the table to establish a process for negotiations since the Xeni Gwet’in Rights and Title Decision was handed down in the Supreme Court of Canada, recognizing the Tsilhqot’in holds Aboriginal title to approximately 1,900 square kilometres.

“Over the past year we have tried a new approach with the Province and Canada — one that involves trust. With the Province we’ve stick handled through many of the issues we have in our territory and are hoping for something that will improve the lives of our people. However, there are still major issues that will have to be resolved with B.C. before we can move forward with any agreement with the Province,” Alphonse said, adding that he believes tensions with First Nations and non-First Nations will ease with defined agreements.

“Engagement with our membership is our top priority, and we are in our communities now giving updates and getting direction.  We are considering whether the Province is truly committed to moving forward in a positive way. The history of mistrust is still very real for us.”