The Spokin Lake area (Spucwten) is within the T'exelc (Williams Lake Indian Band) traditional territory, near 150 Mile House.
The Spokin Lake area is prime moose calving grounds, our traditional hunting grounds, and a hunting area for others. It is also a beautiful area, full of wetland species. Our long-term goal is to preserve the Spokin Lake area as a biosphere and to protect it from logging. It would be protected for all users, but especially for nearby T'exelc' members to use for traditional activities as they have done for centuries.
We would honor road closure measures for the Spokin Lake area, similar to the Enterprise area (MU-52A) for wildlife conservation. Limited entry hunting has continued in MU-52A since clear-cuts were approved and logged in the 1980's. We do not approve any logging for 1999-2002 in the Spokin Lake area, beyond minimal-disturbance salvage logging.
In September of 1999 we held an informational roadblock on the Spokin Lake Road and at 150 Mile House. We received a considerable amount of public support. Following our action, we met with Riverside and Williams Lake Forest District. We all agreed that the forest health of the area required some salvage. Only salvage logging is planned for this area now and we will be involved in the planning. No road closures are planned, however. Small business blocks for salvage remain in the development plans.
We have asked that more studies of the area be completed before further development occurs. We feel the area requires moose habitat studies and an inventory of the wetlands. Our own plant studies have shown there are endangered traditional plants in the area. The protection of Borland Creek itself is of concern as it provides water for Williams Lake.
The Williams Lake Band community built a cabin in October of 1999 to use for hunting and other activities. Our families will continue to work to protect the lands they have used and occupied for centuries.
We are not alone in our desire to protect this area, as we mentioned.