Bolaños invites those concerned to preserve the Laja
By Antonio De Jesús Aguado
Alfonso Bolaños, president of the Asociación de Paleros del Río Laja A.C. (Association of Front Men of the Laja River S.C.), said that the extraction of sand from the Río Laja is legal and showed documents to prove it. He invited all those concerned about the preservation of the waterway to work as a team for a common benefit.
Recently, residents living near the Laja River relayed to Atención their concerns about the “illegal extraction” of sand from the river; they were also concerned about the illegal cutting of trees and the polluting of the river with motor oil. Those concerned commented also that reforestation efforts were not working.
Bolaños commented that illegal extraction of sand from the river has always existed and in order to regulate it he and some residents living near the river approached the local administration in 2007 to request a permit to extract sand. The local administration showed them how to get a permit from the CONAGUA, which they were granted in September 2012 after waiting five years. Bolaños showed the document proving that they are a legal civil company, as well as an environmental impact report.
Bolaños focused on clarifying some points. About the replanting of trees he commented, “I invite all those who say that it is not working to see the sprouts on the branches. They were planted one month ago and they have sprouts, so of course it is working.” Bolaños made clear that the environmental impact report from a Guanjuato company and signed by Abigail Mendiola indicates that they must reforest the area. He said they are replanting trees based on experience from their ancestors, who have planted trees that way for generations, such as don Rosendo Bernal, who planted dozens of trees on the riverbanks that are still alive. He said that they have nothing to do with the dry sticks planted by the local government last year.
Regarding allegations of trespassing on private property, Bolaños said that they are not trespassing on any land and they are only using the riverbanks for their vehicles. Bolaños also expressed that those who believe that they constructed roads inside the river using debris can inspect the area and see that they are using river soil covered with sand and mud. He remarked that their concession forbids any car repair in the river. “We respect our concession, and we have not changed any motor oil in the river.” He said that the illegal extraction of sand does exist and that those vehicles that leaked oil into the river could belong to people who do not have a permit. Those without permits might also be cutting down trees, he added. Bolaños said that all those interested in preserving the Laja can call him and make suggestions and they can work as a team. Alfonso Bolaños can be reached at 415-101-5320.