Leaders of the Maroon communities in Portland and St Mary on Thursday signed a petition, appealing to the authorities to respect the final resting place of their forefathers and the cultural legacy bequeathed to them by stopping all further leases of land within the boundaries of the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park.
It was the objection raised by the JCDT that resulted in the withdrawal of the bid by former environment minister Daryl Vaz, who had expressed an interest in building a residential complex on lands bordering the protected Holywell National Forest Park.
Wallace Sterling, colonel of the Moore Town Maroon community, representing communities in the Rio Grande Valley, Portland, believes that the Maroons have a responsibility to preserve the area for posterity so that the generations to come will have an appreciation of their intangible as well as historical legacy.
Marcia Douglas, acting colonel of the Charles Town Maroons, comprising communities in the Blue Mountain Valley region of Portland, who signed with Captain Rodney Rose, wants the JDCT to be further empowered so that it can reach more people, agencies, and ministers of government so that they can have a better appreciation of the widespread environmental benefits that the park provides for the rest of the country.
“The JCDT has been doing a wonderful job, and they work with all the Maroon communities to preserve our cultural heritage and helping others to understand what it means to have a national park and why it is so important to preserve it.