• by: Lisa Stuart
  • target: European Commissioner for the Environment

A business consortium, backed by regional government, is threatening the continued, precarious survival of the Cantabrian brown bear or Oso pardo (Ursus arctos), already catalogued as in danger of extinction in Spain.  An unsustainable project to build a ski resort in an important corridor of access for the last remaining bears in the region of the San Glorio pass in the Cordillera Cantabrica mountains of Northern Spain may still be given approval. Spanish law courts recently vetoed a large-scale type of project but a smaller, just as threatening project could still be put forward. Relatively low altitude and regular windy conditions would ensure the need for water-draining, artificial snow machine use. The local population will not get rich on the occasional weekend of piste skiing a year whilst destroying habitat of bear, Iberian wolf, Capercaillie, Marsh fritillary and Apollo butterflies, among others of the area's natural wildlife and beauty - it's main attraction. (This petition will also be sent to the Spanish Minister for the Environment.)
For more information visit;
Pedimos a los ministros del medio ambiente de España y del
Parliamento Europeo que no permiten la construccion de una macro-estacion de esqui, insostenible por la falta de nieve fiable y por vientos fuertes, en un paraje natural tan importante para la supervivencia del oso pardo y del urogallo entre demas especies tan emblematicas de Espana.

Please let the European and Spanish Ministers for the Environment know that this is of worldwide importance. A major problem facing bears today is population insularization, in which sub-populations of bears become isolated from one another and each isolated sub-population lives in a relatively small area with limited resource diversity, eventually leading to endogomy and the death of the species. Already many isolated sub-populations of some species, including brown bears and American black bears, have gone extinct. These proposals are illegal. The areas in question are (supposedly) protected by EU laws, in particular NATURA 2000 which states that any building proposals have to be compatible with the conservation of affected habitats and species. If the project goes ahead, it will be funded by the very same institution that made the law. These laws were not made to be broken!  Uncertain and windy conditions promise the project's unsustainability. We want green mountains and wildlife not concrete and artificial snow contaminating our rivers.
Por favor, permite que los ministros del Medio Ambiente sepan que esto es de suma importancia para el mundo entero. Sus credenciales verdes deber%uFFFDan ser suficiente para prevenir la continuidad del proyecto.
El mayor problema a los que se enfrentan los osos hoy en d%uFFFDa es al aislamiento de las poblaciones, cuyos n%uFFFDcleos de subpoblaci%uFFFDn se ven abocados a un aislamiento unos de otros en peque%uFFFDas %uFFFDreas con una diversidad de recursos muy reducida. Debido a esto muchas de estas subpoblaciones, incluidos osos pardos y negros en Am%uFFFDrica, se han extinguido.
Estos proyectos son ilegales. Estas %uFFFDreas en cuesti%uFFFDn, est%uFFFDn protegidas por la Leyes de la Uni%uFFFDn Europea, en particular la Red Natura 2000 que obliga a los estados a proponer proyectos compatibles con la conservaci%uFFFDn de los h%uFFFDbitats y especies afectadas. Si el
proyecto sale adelante, ser%uFFFD financiado por la misma Instituci%uFFFDn que hizo la Ley. %uFFFDEstas Leyes no han sido hechas para incumplirlas!. La incertidumbre y las condiciones ventosas de la zona refuerzan la insostenibilidad del proyecto. Nosotros queremos naturaleza y monta%uFFFDas verdes, no hormig%uFFFDn y ca%uFFFDones de nieve contaminando
nuestros r%uFFFDos.

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