The secretary of the Sports and Recreation Department (DRD), Adriana Sánchez Parés, admitted today that more than a thousand palms and trees were cut down in the Cerro Gordo resort.
This morning a public hearing was held by the Natural Resources Commission of the House of Representatives, chaired by legislator Joel Franki Atiles, where the issue of the massive felling of palms, trees and shrubs of different species in the Cerro Gordo spa facilities in Vega Alta.
Regarding the information provided by the official, the mayor of Vega Alta, Oscar Santiago Martínez, who was present at the public hearing, was surprised, since the residents of the area, who perform mountain biking and yoga among other activities , had taken the initiative to carry out a preliminary census and had indicated that the felled vegetation exceeded 566 units.
“During the hearing, the bureaucratic details of the agency and the issue of hiring the supplier were presented, as well as the procedure for pruning the trees. The problem is the following: one thing is what is in the official documents and another is the reality that we have verified in the facilities of the Cerro Gordo Spa ”, added the mayor.
Faced with the situation, the municipality of Vega Alta, in conjunction with a group of citizens, filed a lawsuit for the agencies involved to evidence the alleged studies that prove that all those palms and trees were sick and needed to be cut down.
Precisely this Friday the first hearing is held, digitally.
Since April 2019, the mayor has been requesting ownership of the spa, and although a measure to that effect presented by Senator Rossana López León was approved in the Senate, the House of Representatives ignored it.
“Our intention is to develop the area as a municipal company, create jobs and contribute to economic development, in view of the fact that the central government has not been able to do so due to the fiscal reality that we all know,” explained the mayor.
In fact, the state government has already transferred the administrative jurisdiction of the Caña Gorda spa to the municipality of Guánica and the Punta Salinas spa to Toa Baja, as well as the Isla de Cabras National Park, for said municipalities to develop it.