While squatters remain in illegal structures in the pine forest off Carmichael Road, the government’s task force charged with removing people who are living and operating on Crown land illegally, hopes to take action soon, Minister of National Security Wayne Munroe said yesterday.
When members of the task force toured the forest in July, they found squatters living in two old school buses and other structures on the land and that a large area of the pine forest was cleared.
It was also evident that someone was running an illegal coal operation, that an illegal excavation site was in operation and an illegal firing range was set up.
Munroe said the team is awaiting word from the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) before acting in relation to that and other matters.
“They are waiting on opinions from the OAG on execution possibilities is how I would put it, for steps to clear the Harold and Wilson Ponds National Park and return parts of Harold and Wilson Pond back to wetlands, the part that had been filled in,” he said.
People encroached on the wetlands and filled them in, Munroe said.
On Carmichael Road, the team hopes to remove the structures in the pine forest and plant new pine trees.
Munroe noted that the structures remain in the forest, as do the squatters.
“As far as I know, they are still there,” he said.
In July, Munroe issued a 14-day warning to people to desist from trespassing on government land; clearing protected trees; clearing land without permission; and excavating or burning coal or breaking any of the environmental laws.
A team of officers from the police, defense force and immigration department started removing people who are living and operating on government land later that month.
Several irregular migrants and wanted people were arrested as a result, authorities said.