Letter to the Governor, 07.03.2013
Natalia Vladimirovna, Madam!
At the beginning of winter (before the New Year), we met on the reindeer pasture where last year the forest burnt, a Kogalym forester with his assistant. They informed us that from summer 2013 on, a loggers’ brigade shall cut the burnt forest and heavy machines will carry the timber away.
To our objections, i.e.
that this area is a reindeer pasture,
that immediately after giving birth, females go there with their young,
that this is an area of quietness for the reindeer,
that in the insects period, reindeer come there from the bog and seek in the burnt forest protection, for mosquitoes are less abundant,
that as soon as mushrooms appear, feeding mothers go there to eat,
that at rut time, reindeer shall go there by habit, in order to reproduce themselves;
they answered me:
that the forest belongs to the Forestry,
that the land under it belongs to the Forest Fund,
that natives and reindeer are not an obstacle for them,
and that anyhow the forest shall be sold « uncut ».
We ask you to help us to stop the loggers’ work on the pasture.
Last year, there were many fires outside reindeer pastures. Therefore:
Let them work in other areas!
Let them leave the Reindeer’s Home, the Reindeer’s Ward!
Let the trees die on their soil, so that they can be fertilisers for the oncoming trees!
Let the bark beetles become food for small birds, woodpeckers, jays, nutcrackers!
Because of the oil deposit, our family loses every year five to seven reindeer, which disappear without leaving any traces. We are afraid next year our losses will be much more relevant.
In our countries, when reindeer are disturbed, they use to flee against the wind. Here the winds are usually from the South or the South-West. Therefore, id if the logging will take place, our females, scared by the noise made by transport machines and people, chainsaws and – god forbid! – dogs’ barking, the females will drag along their young and thus the whole herd over the Vatyogan, which is a natural border between families. On the other shore live four families, four herds. Our reindeer will drag along animals belonging to other people, they will fell corrals, their herd instinct will destroy years of work for several families, many persons’ dreams, and will stir up quarrels within families.
here timber is not fit. Trees are fine, low, and the rare thicker trunks are twisted and gnarled, and higher than five meters they are not even fit for heating.
If nonetheless, logging happens, our family will be compelled to check even more the reindeer, to look after loggers to avoid them coming with dogs, weapons, to avoid them provoking fires in the heat of summer, to avoid that drivers open corral doorways and do not shut them, allowing thus the reindeer to go to the next oil deposit.
When shall we rebuild the camp that burnt in last year’s fire, Madam ?
In name of my family, I ask for your assistance!
March, 7th, 2013
Yuri Vella (Yuri Kylevitch Ayvaseda),
Address : Ul. Tsentralnaya, d. 1, s. Varyogan, Nizhnevartovsk rayon, Khanty-Mansiiskiy A.O.-Ugria
Kinship territory № 43.