We have received this call for action against the planned grazing and logging of one of the most pristine forest areas in the National Park Majella in the Abruzzos in central Italy. If you are against this please post a comment on our website.
The risk of destroying the Sant’Antonio wood in Pescocostanzo, Abruzzo, central Italy through raises the concern among the Europe environmental organizations.
At stake is logging and grazing in Majella NP versus protection of the wilderness area of Majella NP. A nature reserve was already established in 1986, in order to protect one of the most beautiful and famous beech woods in the Apennines. The reserve was included to Majella National Park in 1995. The wood, with its 17 hectares, has always been a paradise appreciated by botanists, hikers, travelers and tourists. However, the main value of the area has been put into serious question by a judgment on 12th of February 2015, in which the Regional Committee for civic purposes ruled the restrictions of the Park as illegitimate, thus questioning the Park nature protection plan. Also, the inaction of the Park was crucial, promoting the institutional conflict: by not showing up in court, it was also sentenced to pay the legal costs. The sentence, moreover, is in conflict with the judgments of other European and national judicial bodies that, on the other hand, had already positively ruled over the standards of protection actually in place.
According to the associations, the risk that chainsaws could break into the wood is now real and imminent. It all depends on the common sense of the new local administration. This wood is a biotype of high natural value, universally recognized within the scientific sector and by the European community, where the natural dynamics have enriched the forest with huge, monumental, high-trunk trees. An environment that is well different from the young forests, undergoing too many cuts, that dominate our region and the whole country. The three main censuses of monumental trees, performed over time by the State Forestry Corps, the regional administration and the Majella National Park, have highlighted the great abundance of huge trees in this forest. In fact, around half of the 800 monumental trees detected in the Park can be found within the Sant’Antonio wood. Every year the majesty of this wood attracts thousands of tourists and seekers of large trees that help fostering the beauty of this area. In the collective consciousness of the people of Abruzzo, the Sant’Antonio wood represents a magical place, a sacred forest, an enchanted place, completely unique, and with its cultural, historical, ancient and, most of all, wild aspects. It is an enticement that attracts visitors from hundreds of kilometers, even far beyond the borders of the region. For these reasons the area deserves to be protected at the highest level. An intermediate solution is possible: while it’s important to establish the protected area as a place to be enjoyed by respectful citizens and to promote environmental education; on the other side it is very dangerous to foster pollarding, the removal of trees and the destruction of the undergrowth, with the serious risk of causing damages for environment and tourism.
It is essential, for the organizations that are signing this document, to find a fair solution and to intervene as soon as possible, in order to prevent the historical environment from becoming a land of conquest. The biodiversity of the Sant’Antonio wood is a priceless treasure for the whole territory of Abruzzo and Italy. Moreover, the wood is a Site of Community Importance and, in 2012, has been awarded the “Premio Carlo Scarpa per il Giardino”. Spoiling this wood would be an unforgivable crime.
- Coordinamento Nazionale Alberi e Paesaggio OnlusPro Natura Abruzzo
- WWF Abruzzo
- FAI Abruzzo
- LIPU Abruzzo
- Italia Nostra Pescara
- Wilderness Italia
- Enpa Onlus Lazio e Abruzzo
- European Wilderness Society