“The Eastern Band of Cherokees will not permit or authorize any person, corporation or other legal entity to engage in hydraulic fracturing on Tribal trust lands,” reads part of the text of a resolution passed unanimously by the Tribal Council last month and signed into law by Principal Chief Mitchell Hicks on September 10. “The State of North Carolina is without legal authority to permit hydraulic fracturing on Tribal trust lands."Tribal officials cited the importance to preservation of the woodland habitats that are the underpinning of tribal health and culture.
“Our tribe has taken a strong stand with the resolution against hydraulic fracturing commonly known as fracking,” said Chief Hicks in a statement from the band. “I signed the resolution because I believe our environmental protection is paramount to the survival of our people.”There have been many local governments that have tried to ban fracking from their areas. But since Gov. Pat McCrory lifted the facking ban from North Carolina, that hasn't meant much. The Cherokee Band's sovereign status makes their decision much more powerful.