Environment halts all amber extraction on ecological damage
Santiago.- Environment Ministry officials accompanied bymilitary personnel on Thursday halted all extraction of the semiprecious stone amber,to prevent further ecological damage at the Septentrional (northern) range.
The measure comes in the heels of frequentcomplaints by environmentalists and area residents concerned over damages.
The military detained several people forexcavating the mountainside and for clearing trees, and seized amber mining equipmenton the La Cumbre-Luperon tourist road near the town Tamboril.
Recently owners of land on the northern rangeexpressed concern over squatters who use backhoes to extract amber, which theaffirm damage not only areas near La Cumbre, but villages near Puerto Plata,where "businessmen" buy the resin-formed stone from farmers.
Clearings stunt rivers
Quoted by diariolibre.com, former Cibao Ecological Society (SOECI) presidentNelson Bautista said at least six of the volume of the rivers whose source is therange has been reduced, some totally dry, by clearings to search for amber."Among the most affected aquifer tributaries include Jacagua, Gurabo, PaloQuemado and San Francisco de Yásica and Yaroa.