DNER chief orders inventory of all island nature reserves
By John McPhaul
Interim Natural and Environmental Resources Secretary Anaís Rodríguez Vega has ordered the auxiliary secretary of conservation to immediately carry out an inventory of the real conditions of each reserve and protected area managed by the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (DNER).
“The inventory will serve to anticipate potential problems and identify existing ones in these reserves and protected areas,” Rodríguez Vega said in a written statement reported Sunday. “This evaluation includes making sure that there are no invasions in the reserve areas or other violations of environmental laws that could affect their conservation. Also, I have requested recommendations for addressing any irregularities that are identified.”
The task will be assigned to the management officials of each area, under the supervision of the aforementioned auxiliary secretary, who must submit a detailed report to the Office of the Interim Secretary no later than June 1. The inventory should serve to determine priorities, define jobs and identify the necessary resources.
“Although the DNER has had great achievements since its creation in 1972, it is no less true that matters such as the invasions on the part of private individuals in the Jobos Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, in Salinas, which we have dealt with recently, interfere with the efforts carried out day after day by the public servants who work in our agency,” the DNER secretary said.
“This detailed inventory that we are requesting will be key to establishing priorities and identifying where we have to deploy our resources to implement preventive and/or remedial action plans,” Rodríguez Vega added. “In this way we will be ensuring compliance with the public policy of Gov. Pedro Pierluisi to preserve, protect and restore the natural resources of Puerto Rico.”