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
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.
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.