The Cabinet wants the former caretakers of the Wallings Nature Reserve to return the trail signs they reportedly took down after they relinquished control of the National Park site.
The Wallings Nature Reserve Inc. called it quits in late August, and the team indicated, then, that it would be removing anything it put in place while managing the space, including signage that bears the company’s name and logo, trail flags, and any other items that were given to the company.
However, Minister of Agriculture Samantha Marshall says the signs were contributed by corporate sponsors and they ought to be returned.
Marshall says the site was never leased, nor was ownership ever passed to anyone. According to her, the arrangement that existed with the company was a voluntary one that has now come to an end.
Meanwhile, the Cabinet, during its sitting on Wednesday, September 28), received a report from Marshall regarding the Wallings Park and the decision by its caretaker to surrender control.
The Wallings Inc. team has indicated that the Ministry failed to make the area viable, but is now claiming to have the interest of the Forest at heart.
In the meantime, United Progressive Party (UPP) Mobilization Officer George Wehner says the Nation should keep an eye on what is happening with the Wallings Nature Reserve lands.
While it was the people in the community who expressed an interest in developing the neglected area, Wehner says it now seems the Browne Administration is interested in the land, which falls in line with its usual land-grab schemes.
Wehner says this fight is not solely between the Wallings Nature Reserve Inc. and the Cabinet, but with the villagers of John Hughes, who have a vested interest based on the history of the area.
The UPP mobilization officer is querying whether the Cabinet’s response to this development is politically motivated. He says the Executive is making it extremely onerous for public-private partnerships to exist.
The issue between the Wallings Nature Reserve Inc. and the Ministry of Agriculture came to a head on Monday, August 29, when Refica Attwood, the executive director of the country’s first community-managed national park, made certain allegations on a radio station.
This prompted a response from the Ministry in an attempt to clear the air.