With all the respect we pay to the PNALM institution and its Director Luciano Sammarone, we do not agree with his statements to Il Centro. In these statements, there is confusion between the communiqué of the associations Storia della Fauna, LIPU, ALTURA and Salviamo l’Orso, which refers to the snowshoe hike advertised by the institution on its website to be held in or near the Moricento beech forest, and the communiqué of another association, which refers to another event.
FIRST: it doesn’t matter to us whether the snowshoe hike or excursion involves 100 or 10 people, if it takes place in the vicinity of a hibernation site any human presence can be of great and intolerable disturbance to the bear, perhaps a female who might decide to abandon her cubs born at the end of January, condemning them to certain death.
SECONDLY, the fact that the event was planned on the Park’s footpath network changes nothing and does not reassure us at all. The network of paths should not be and is not a dogma, so much so that every year in summer there is a closed number on certain paths that are particularly delicate due to the presence of the Apennine chamois and the Marsican bear. On several occasions, trails have been closed just because of the possible presence of a bear in the area. Doesn’t the hibernation period in an area like Moricento justify such a measure?
THIRD: It seems to us that an underlying schizophrenia afflicts the behaviour of the Board and not that of the associations, because while the mayors certainly have an interest in promoting the influx of tourists without limits, the Board instead has the institutional task of conserving and protecting delicate environments and species. It makes one smile a little that now instead, as Sammarone says, the park has also invested itself with the responsibility of combating mountain depopulation by means of tourist events, transforming itself into a Pro Loco. The park should do what it was set up to do, something that many have forgotten, namely conservation, and in this perspective it should carefully regulate tourism and the requests that mayors and local communities legitimately submit to it, never forgetting that it will be judged by how well conserved the environment it has been entrusted with is, not by how many thousands of tourists have visited it. We believe that a park with great naturalistic values, because it is well managed, is the best attraction for tourism that must be absolutely contained in suitable and circumscribed spaces.