San Glorio

New, Stricter Protection Laws for the Cantabrian brown bears

June 16th, 2008

A new draft of the Plan for the Recuperation of the Cantabrian brown bear (Plan para la Recuperación del Oso pardo Cantabrico) has been sent by the Castilla y León Environment Ministry to all the townhalls covering the affected areas within both the National and Regional Parks of the Picos de Europa, the Natural Park of Fuentes Carrionas y Fuente Cobre-Montaña Palentina as well as in all the areas which have been proven to be of vital importance for the bears such as the valleys Naranco and Lechada. Incorporated in the plan will be the monitoring of any possible communication corridors in order to join the two split bear populations and avoid the fragmentation of habitat. Any recreational activity within the protected area will be prohibited and forestry and agricultural use will be controlled. Hunting will be strictly monitored, being banned completely during critical feeding times (autumn) and in areas where bears are spotted by patrols. These new protection laws will be followed until said controlled areas come up with their own environmental management plans. All of which should effectively ensure the future survival of the Cantabrian brown bear and sound the death knell for the San Glorio ski resort project.

News from El Diario de León.

Read all about the San Glorio bears on the forum.

Watch a video of two young Cantabrian brown bears on elmundo.es.

San Glorio ski resort project rejected by law courts

April 2nd, 2008

But great news for the Cantabrian mountains and their wildlife;

Photo of the San Glorio pass and beyond, taken early March 2007

The Castilla and León law courts have vetoed the project put forward by Tres Provincias S.A. for a ski resort in the San Glorio region of the Cantabrian mountains in the north of Spain, citing climate change as the main reason for its very doubtful economic viability. This makes it the first plan to have been denied on the grounds of climate change. The judgement points out that when, in 2006, the regional government of Castilla and León modified the laws protecting the Natural Park of Fuentes Carrionas and Fuente Cobre-Montaña Palentina (land included in much of the project) to enable the building of a ski resort, no scientific study was included to take into account the effects of climate change.

The threats to the environment and the future of the Cantabrian brown bear made by the project have led to huge opposition from conservationists, who have provided many environmental impact reports. The court also recognises that this project would be incompatible with the survival of many species of flora and fauna of the area, including the bears whose Eastern population would be severely affected.

News from El País

Read all about the subject on Iberianature forum