No wood hauling allowed during weekend 57-hour lockdown
For 57 hours, there will be no wood hauling.
Chapters like Sanostee, St. Michaels and Shiprock posted a message on their social media pages on Wednesday telling residents that the Forestry Department has informed them that anyone caught hauling wood during this weekend’s lockdown will face penalties.
“If you’re caught, your chainsaw and wood will be confiscated,” the message on each chapter’s social media pages said.
Navajo Nation Police have been issuing criminal nuisance citations since curfews – both nightly and the 57-hour weekend lockdown – started on March 30. The criminal nuisance citation was created for curfew violators.
If found guilty, violators can be fined up to $1,000 and/or 30 days in jail.
The chapters told residents that tribal rangers and forestry enforcement officers would be looking for wood haulers during the 57-hour lockdown.
On Tuesday, a stay-at-home order was re-issued, which began Tuesday. The order will remain in effect until this coming Tuesday.
The statement added that Sage Memorial Hospital in Ganado and several satellite chapters in the Navajo Eastern Agency saw an increase in COVID-19 cases.
During the seven-day stay-at-home order and 57-hour lockdown, wood hauling is allowed only between 5 a.m. and 8 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Jared Touchin, communications director for the president’s office, said on Wednesday night only one 57-hour lockdown order was issued and officials would revisit the issue next week to decide if additional weekend lockdowns are needed based on the number of cases.
Jenny Sam messaged President Jonathan Nez on his social media page expressing her thoughts about the wood hauling restrictions.
“Weekends are used for wood hauling,” Sam said, “unless (you’re) willing to help many families on the reservation fix their problems with heating their homes. Some people still work weekdays and spend the weekend helping their elders prepare for the upcoming winter.”
Nez replied to Sam, saying the 32-hour weekend lockdown provided time to gather wood. He added they’d “look at the numbers” to determine if another 57-hour weekend lockdown was needed.
“We are aware this will be an inconvenience to some but please follow restrictions,” the chapters’ statement said. “Please do not comment or call getting upset with the chapter. We are only informing you of what was explained to us.”