The park of Aigüestortes i sant maurici promotes its expansion
Hotel Les Brases en Sort
Grow and continue sowing wealth in your environment. That is the great challenge of the Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park, the only national park in Catalonia -declared in 1955-, which is the highest distinction for a natural area. In March of last year, the Department of Territory and Sustainability began the administrative process to expand the park's current 14,119 hectares by a minimum of 5,000 hectares. "The request of the territory itself, its natural values and its dynamic socio-economic role justify its expansion", explained the General Director of Environmental Policies of the Generalitat, Marta Subirà.
At present, the Parc Nacional d'Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici includes in its territory four counties ( Alta Ribagorça, Pallars Jussà, Vall d'Aran and Pallars Sobirà ) and ten municipalities, with an approximate population of 15,000 inhabitants, in mostly dedicated to the tertiary sector.
"Along with the cultural heritage in the area, the park is the main dynamic asset as a tourist attraction," says Subirà. «It is nature in its wild state, the landscape without human intervention, and the entire area that can be added to the park already has that value of natural heritage. Including it under the protection of the park will be to give it official recognition, and for this, we have the most important thing: the illusion of the territory and the natural values of the environment that is being studied to be included”, adds the director of Polítiques Ambientals.
Currently, the Generalitat agrees on the limits of the extension with the affected municipalities. "Our will would be to be able to close a first consensual proposal in this legislature," Subirà calculates.
The expansion process includes its approval in Parliament and by the council of ministers of the central government, since Aigüestortes, as a national park, is within the National Parks Network.
AFFECTED TOWN HALLS
The consistories of Pallars Sobirà involved in the extension are Sort, Rialp and La Guingueta d'Àneu, and in Pallars Jussà , the Torre de Cabdella.
Extensive cattle ranching is practically the only use that allows the protection of a national park. Even so, the territory values above the loss of other uses, the promotion that means the maximum recognition as natural heritage from its municipality. “We have interest. For the Vall d'Àssua -the access to the park from the municipality of Sort- is, today, the only guarantee of prosperity», indicates the mayor of Sort, Llàtzer Sibís. "But it is essential to safeguard traditional activities on the Llessui mountain, where a dozen herds graze," adds Sibís. The building of the old Llessui school houses the Museu del Pastor and an information point and entrance to the national park, "although the promotion of this access is still not enough," says the mayor.
On the other side of the mountain, in the Boí park house ( Alta Ribagorça ), the director of the Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park, Mercè Aniz, is also committed to the extension. "The protection of the territory is key to the conservation of certain species and habitats, and this is not at odds with traditional livestock farming, which has been present here since the Bronze Age," says Aniz.
CARME ESCALES / Spot
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