Estero el Soldado: Interview Annette & Joy

Estero el Soldado: Interview Annette & Joy

Estero El Soldado

Public Forums on the Horizon?

I had the opportunity to interview two women who have been visiting San Carlos for around 50 years now. So thanks very much to

   Our resident dolphin are here because of the estero
Our resident dolphins
are here because of the estero

Annette Felix & Joy Chandler. Annette and Joy both own condos over at Pilar and have spent much energy picking up trash over the years. I was interested to speak with them on there experiences at the estuary. What disturbs me the most is that over the years the many different agencies and or individuals who have managed the estuary have never reached out to the community of residents here in San Carlos. This is a community of residents that could very easily help in managing the area in a more sustainable way and would be a great resource that the government has certainly not taken advantage of. That needs to change. I have been told that almost 1 million dollars has been spent since 2006 on conservation of the Estero yet I certainly don’t see where the money went. The visitor center certainly couldn’t have cost that much money. The cyclone fence that is falling down in the video didn’t cost that much money of that you can be sure.

So where did all the money go that was spent on conservation? I guess it went for salaries of biologists consulting fees and construction of the visitor center. For me the most difficult thing to fathom from this is; out of all the money that was spent out there no one ever came out with a management plan. A management plan is required by law since the Estero is a national park. It would seem that CEDES  took as much federal money as they could and tried to use it to develop a business plan on converting the Esturay into a theme park. So the state government did have a plan, a business plan not a conservation plan.  I hear through the grape vine that possibly Mauricio Cervantes, the local biologist who wrote the book on the estero and was a co-administrator for several years, is possibly negotiating with CEDES to develop a plan. I will say that if Mauricio Cervantes does get a contract to develop a management plan for the Estero with CEDES then by law he must hold public forums, something he certainly never did when he was in charge. It would be very important to make sure that who ever develops a managment plan for the area hold the required forums to allow participation by the San Carlos/Guaymas community.

Members of INAH meet with local activist Norma Nunez
Members of INAH meet with local activist Norma Nunez

As far as the zip line is concerned after speaking with some of my contacts at Conanp, Comision Nacional de Areas Naturales Protegidas, it would seem that the project is almost certainly dead. The fact that the estuary is a Ramsar World Heritage site makes it almost completely impossible for the project to continue as it had been planned. As far as the scaffolding for the bird watching and the enormous holes that have been excavated for the foundations of the zip line towers go it is anyones guess when all that will be dealt with. It may take years before the scaffolding is removed and the holes are filled in. The INAH, Instituto Nacional de Antropologia y Historia has inspected the site and has been trying to get a response in writing from CEDES on the illegal holes they dug.

I know recently Norma Nunez had a meeting out at Bahia Delfin Condos last week that I was unable to attend. Please check out Norma’s Page on face book Salvemos el Estero del Soldado and try to hook up with her. I am sure she will be helping keep track of what is going on out there. It is high time residents of San Carlos and Guaymas demand open public forums on what is going on at the estuary. It is arguably one the most important pieces of real estate in Sonora and with out doubt in San Carlos.

 

5 Responses to Estero el Soldado: Interview Annette & Joy

  1. Wonderful, love to get involved! Someone who lives in San Carlos has to head this up. I know of lots of people who are Snow Birds – are
    there from October to March. I have been coming to San Carlos for 20 plus years but do not know two gals – and should. We are all singing from the same song sheet. We feel we should not interfer in Mexico’s business.
    Those birds are everyones birds, as are the dolphins.

  2. Great job, thanks Vince….will pass this on to all in Tucson and beyond……I have been coming down since 1974……the estuary needs the support of everyone!

  3. thanks for that Patty, what is really needed is for the snooty Biologist’s and administrators who have been in charge over the years to understand that they are totally ignoring a vast resource that is sitting righting under their noses. The community that utilizes the resource more than any other group, the condo owners out there. Joy and Annette are perfect examples of that.

  4. Vince:

    Those “snooty biologists” that you mentioned with disdain have been hard at work in the background trying to save the estuary from destruction by the State of Sonora. Many people, both Mexican and American, are quietly involved. Until certain things happen, it has to remain quiet. But, little by little, it is happening. Just because you don’t know about it doesn’t mean it is bad. It would be best for all if you just don’t say anything until you know the facts. Your habit of offering “half facts” is not constructive.

  5. I am a little confused on how remaining quiet will somehow help stop the state from destroying the estuary. As you must have noticed Bill the Zipline is being completed. So that stay quiet strategy does not seem to be paying off.

    The fact of the matter remains that at no time has any one every reached out to the community of users of the estuary to involve them in any matter. There have been no public forums over the estuary what so ever. Now when I interviewed Mauricio about his tenure out there he gave me a very interesting stat that I mentioned in the blog post. He told me that almost one million dollars was invested within the estuary. Now I find it hard to believe that the building out there cost a cool million so what was done with all that money? Where did it go? It didn’t go to a management plan, that is for sure. I believe Mauricio got another contract to write one up but I am not sure, I will start checking on all this again since it is obvious the state is going to try to finish what it started. I doubt construction of a zip line would have been in the plan and I wonder who wrote up the environmental impact study for the construction of the zip lines.

    Last week they were working on the zip line towers so obviously the project has gone ahead. Explain to me exactly what the hard working biologists have done to stop the construction of the zip line and the plan for monetization that the state has come up with? I will stick with the word snooty, it fits the description of the actions of those administrators and some of the biologist’s well from my point of view. Mauricio was paid to do a job out there. Did he do a good job? Well some think he did and some think he did not. Clearly when he was out there the visitor center had information on the flora and fauna of the estuary and a working biologist who could give you information. CEDES under it’s current administration has clearly done a worse job than the last administration. Is CEDES a snooty governmental organization. I would have to say that under Tellez it was undoubtedly so. They have taken federal money and used it to come up with a business plan not a plan for conservation.

    Please tell me what the “half facts” are since I got the facts from interviewing the players involved in this. Perhaps you would like to clue us in to the other half of the facts. Or I guess we just shouldn’t know what the rest of the facts are?

    Who is being snooty now?

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