Yeah, Tabasco is still in play. We can’t just say it's okay to flood all those small-time sites in Tabasco as long as Yaxchilan and PN are saved. Do we know everything we need to know about them? Will the "low dams" down there block navigation and the upstream-and-downstream movement of aquatic life? Will they subject their reservoirs to siltation? How will they affect the centlas? and what about the undiscovered or forgotten sites?
It sounds to me like Boca de Cerro would still back up into Chiapas, flood San Jose Canyon, and destroy Budsilha Falls and most of the Chocolha. (As well as El Porvenir?) All these places are downstream from Piedras Negras, but in river terms they’re the main events.
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Salazar is great, and all his points are important
politically, though temporary. We still need details,
many of which I'm beginning to believe don't exist:
where are the dams planned, what are their exact
specs, who will build them (canadian firms?), and will
they serve the stated needs? And where the hell are
the impact studies?
Any extended argument against big hydro, Salazar or no
(and he could disappear in a few years), still demands
looking at the watershed comprehensively and making
recommendations for alternate power sources. The
recent sustainability conference in South Africa
called for an increase of 13 to 15 percent for
alternative energy use worldwide. We need to find out
what Mexico’s percentage is, Guatemala’s, etc.
And how do we get the world to take the Usumacinta off
its drawing board and end the inevitable call for new
dams in the future. When so many places are in
trouble, what makes the Usumacinta so special, why
does it deserve special consideration? The
environmental ngos have their own priorities and
long-term plans: their political capital is spread
thin. But if we make a clear enough, well-balanced and
clearly knowledgeable argument, they may come on
I’d like to propose a few ideas to shoot for:
– no net loss of land, habitat, or archaeological
resources to flooding or construction.
– development of the obvious alternative energy
sources for the growth of sustainable local and
regional economies in the region: micro hydro in the
tributaries (and at points in the corridor with
existing road access?), solar, small wind etc.
– the establishment of a “protected”
corridor–including all current legal uses, better
regulated–along both shores and inland between agreed
upon points somewhere between Altar and Tenosique, at
least from Corozal to Boca de Cerro, and the
development of comprehensive system of trails, camp
sites, low-impact interior lodges etc; archaeology
tours, river trips, birding, to provide full-time year
round jobs with benefits, such as guiding,
Before anything can happen the river needs to be made
safe again, as soon as possible. We need to start
pumping people down it. This is all happening in the
darkness cast by the bandits and the Mathews attack.
It’s time to turn that around.
It would take stable governments and economies, and
real money. But I’ve heard all the reasons why such an
idea is unworkable pipe dream, and I think they’re
ps, while we're at it let's call for some aquatic studies, like goldman's