Local November 4, 2016 | 8:23 am

Environment reveals chink in armor over ravaged Dominican highlands

Santo Domingo.- Environment minister FranciscoDominguez on Thursday said the lines ofcommunication with farmers of Valle Nuevo (Rancier) National Park are open butthe dialogue cannot even remotely imply postponing the measures adopted for thepark.

However he left open the possibility of a"Solomonic" solution.

The official proposed raising taxes on"those villas and leave the radio antennas in Valle Nuevo which don’t harmthe soil "at the core of the struggle tp preserve the environmental waterreserves and protector of the forests and of the National Park.

During the Panel "Valle Nuevo isWater" hosted by the Academy of Sciences Environment Commission, Dominguezreiterated that farmers must leave the protected area, but leafing the antennasare left and raising the property taxes on some homeowners.

"We need to understand, having the meansof communication or dialogue open cannot even remotely imply postponement ofthese means. It´s water," Dominguez said, and reiterated the commitment torescue the protected area neat Constanza. "My commitment as head ofEnvironment is to make these hopes and dreams reality without any fear, lack ofwill or courag.

Land barons

At the heart of the fray over Valle Nuevo arethe land baron families occupying vast areas of the nature reserve, whomenvironmentalist Euleterio Martinez identified as "Viyella, Villaman, MiguelCrows and Sergio Guzman."

"They are part of those still in ValleNuevo, we reiterate that there cannot be villas at the source of a river,farmers are not the problem in Valle Nuevo, but entrepreneurs," Martinezsaid .

"Valle Nuevo is a National Park whichhas 910 square kilometers, all of the farmers don’t occupy more than two squarekilometers, the situation of the peons is negligible, who must be moved are theentrepreneurs and most of the peasants who are there, are their workers, theywork for them," theenvironmentalist said.

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