Canadian Treaty Series
E101434 - CTS 1971 No. 22
EXCHANGE OF NOTES BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA AND THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA FOR MUTUAL CO-OPERATION BETWEEN THE TWO COUNTRIES IN THE DETECTION AND SUPPRESSION OF FOREST FIRES WITHIN A BUFFER ZONE ALONG THE BOUNDARY SEPARATING THE YUKON TERRITORY AND THE STATE OF ALASKA
The Secretary of State of the United States to the Ambassador of Canada
June 1, 1971
His Excellency Marcel Cadieux,
Ambassador of Canada
I have the honor to refer to the Memorandum of Agreement signed on December 2, 1970, by the Minister of the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development of Canada, and on April 20, 1971, by the Secretary of the Interior of the United States of America, relating to mutual cooperation between the United States and Canada in the detection and suppression of forest fires within a buffer zone along the boundary separating the State of Alaska and the Yukon Territory.
It is provided in that Memorandum of Agreement that the agreement shall become effective when formalized by an exchange of diplomatic notes between the two Governments.
I have the honor to inform Your Excellency that the provisions of the above-mentioned Memorandum of Agreement are acceptable to the Government of the United States of America, with the understanding that paragraphs 8 and 9 of such Memorandum of Agreement provide a waiver by both parties of all claims against the other for compensation for any loss, damage, personal injury, or death occurring in consequence of the performance of the agreement. It is proposed that this note, together with your reply indicating the approval of the Government of Canada, be considered as formalizing and giving effect to the agreement as set forth in the Memorandum of Agreement, in accordance with the interpretation set forth above, and that such agreement shall be effective on the date of your reply note, the Agreement to remain in force until terminated by either party upon six months written notice.
Accept, Excellency, the renewed assurances of my highest consideration.
Martin J. Hillenbrand
MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT
The Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development of Canada, and the Department of the Interior of the United States of America,
CONSIDERING that the Government of Canada (hereinafter called “Canada”) and the Government of the United States of America (hereinafter called “the United States”) have under their respective charges the protection from forest fires of lands within the Yukon Territory in Canada and the State of Alaska in the United States; and
CONSIDERING that it has been decided to enter into an agreement for mutual co-operation between Canada and the United States in the detection and suppression of forest fires by designating an area along the boundary separating the Yukon Territory and the State of Alaska within which such co-operation may be achieved and thereby exercise more effective control over any fire in the territory of one of the Parties which may escape to the territory of the other Party;
AGREE as follows:
In this agreement:
(a) “Party” or “Parties” means the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development of Canada or the Department of the Interior of the United States, or both, as the context requires, which are the respective agencies directly responsible for protection of particular lands in the buffer zone;
(b) “boundary” means the boundary separating the Yukon Territory and the State of Alaska;
(c) “buffer zone” means an area 10 miles in depth at all points on each side of the boundary;
(d) “fire” means a forest fire which is located within or partly within the buffer zone;
(e) “territory” means the land within the buffer zone which may be within the jurisdiction of one or other of the Parties;
(f) “suppression action” means the act of fighting a fire within or partly within the buffer zone.
The Parties will co-operate with each other in the detection and suppression of fires by recognizing a buffer zone in which immediate suppression action may be initially started by either Party. In order to facilitate such co-operation the coming into effect of this agreement pursuant to Section 11 hereof shall be construed as permitting officers, employees, agents and conscripts of either Party, when engaged in the detection or suppression of a fire, to pass and repass across the boundary and proceed in the buffer zone without the necessity of obtaining passports, permits, or any other documents whatsoever.
Upon the detection of a fire anywhere in the buffer zone, either Party shall have the right to commence immediately suppression action without prior notice to the other. However, when the fire is on the lands of the other Party, the Party which has commenced suppression action will, as soon as practicable thereafter, notify the other Party that a fire has started and that it has intervened to suppress the fire.
After having notified the other Party of the detection of a fire on the lands of that Party and of the intervention to suppress the fire, the Party which has commenced such suppression action shall then have discretion whether to continue or to discontinue such action, subject only to giving of notice as provided for in Section 8 hereof.
In the event one of the Parties commences suppression action in the buffer zone and notifies the other Party, the other Party may either:
(a) appoint a liaison officer who shall be charged with observing the progress of the suppression action and reporting on it or
(b) actively join the Party which has commenced suppression action and participate in it.
Unless otherwise agreed upon between the Parties in a specific case, where a fire is discovered in the buffer zone and both Parties take joint suppression action, the direction of such action shall be under the charge of the Party in whose territory such action is taking place.
In accordance with the co-operative nature of this agreement, it shall be permissible and desirable for the Parties to exchange recommendations and suggestions designed to render more effective the detection of fires and the suppression action.
Either Party which is engaged in suppression action in the territory of the other Party may discontinue such action at any time upon giving notice of its intention in this respect to the other Party. Both Parties hereby waive all claims or liability which may arise against each other for any loss, damage, injury or death whatsoever resulting from the failure of either Party to institute suppression action or resulting from any discontinuance of suppression action as contemplated by this agreement.
Each Party will provide its own men, materials and supplies during suppression action within the buffer zone and will assume its costs, expenses and liabilities in respect of such suppression action without any right of reimbursement whatsoever from the other Party.
Each Party hereby undertakes wherever possible, to co-operate in exchanging meteorological information concerning weather, in or about the buffer zone, and to install essential weather recording instruments within 50 miles of the boundary during normal fire seasons.
This agreement shall become effective when formalized by an exchange of diplomatic notes between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United States of America.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF the undersigned, duly authorized, have signed this agreement.
DONE in duplicate at Ottawa on December 2, 1970, and at Washington on April 20, 1971.
FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF INDIAN AFFAIRS AND NORTHERN DEVELOPMENT OF CANADA
Rogers C. B. Morton
FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
The Ambassador of Canada to the Secretary of State of the United States of America
WASHINGTON, D.C., June 1, 1971
The Honourable Martin J. Hillenbrand,
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of European Affairs,
Department of State
I have the honour to refer to your Note of June 1, 1971, which referred to the Memorandum of Agreement signed on December 2, 1970 by the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development of Canada and on April 20, 1971 by the Secretary of the Interior of the United States concerning mutual co-operation between Canada and the United States in the detection and suppression of forest fires in a buffer zone along the boundary separating the Yukon Territory of Canada and the State of Alaska.
I have the honour to inform you that the Canadian Government approves the provisions of the Memorandum of Agreement and confirms the interpretation of paragraphs 8 and 9 thereof as stated in your Note under reference. I have the honour to confirm therefore that your Note and this reply, which is authentic in English and French, constitutes an Agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United States which enters into force on the date of this Note giving effect to the above Memorandum of Agreement.
Accept, Sir, the renewed assurances of my highest consideration.