87.7 F
Charlotte Amalie
Wednesday, June 12, 2024


Dear Source,
On Jan. 17, 2001, President Clinton signed Proclamation No. 7392, which expanded the boundaries of the existing Buck Island Reef National Monument.
On Nov. 15, 2002, the federal General Accounting Office issued an opinion regarding said proclamation. It should be noted that an opinion is nothing more than that, an opinion; the lawyer's belief as to the legality of the document. It has been said many times that it is not wise to have the fox watch over the hen house.
On May 5, 2003, the National Park Service started enforcing its interim rule with respect to this proclamation. This interim rule prohibits all extractive uses and boat anchoring within the monument waters except in deep sand areas or in emergencies.
These acts are in violation of numerous federal laws and the civil rights of the people of the U.S. Virgin Islands.
As of this date, the Virgin Islands government has failed to challenge these actions in a court of law. Fishermen's United Services Co-op of St. Croix, in order to protect the rights of its membership and all other members of the St. Croix community, has taken on the task.
The estimated cost of this endeavor will be well in excess of $100,000 per year. The fishermen members of the co-op have committed to contribute from their earnings. With the closure of the Buck Island fishing grounds, the most productive area that we have in St. Croix, the contribution of any money by the fishermen will be far more burdensome than normal.
We hope that citizens of these islands will do everything in their power to assist the fishermen in paying this expense by making contributions to the St. Croix Foundation for the Fishermen's Legal Fund. Those who enjoy the many recreational pleasures of Buck Island and those who enjoy eating the many varieties of seafood harvested from the Buck Island area by our local fishermen have a special interest in this battle. Checks can be sent to the foundation at 71 Flag Drive, Gallows Bay, St. Croix VI 00820.
Robert N. McAuliffe, president
St. Croix

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