The border of Italy and France is known as the large, steep and rugged Western Alps. Despite the wild mountains human presence impacted this corner of Europe for several centuries dramatically. Wilderness or Wild Areas exists only in small fragments, usually high above the tree line and very remote corners. These corners are managed by professional managers in the context of local legislation. Nevertheless their personal attitude very often is the difference between the area managed according to Wilderness principles or not.
Wilderness Advocate Michele Ottino
Mr. Michele Ottino is an experienced managers and previous director of the Gran Paradiso National Park. After many years of managing this iconic park he finished his work there and became the director of the Nature Park Alpi Cozie. This wild area is just a little bit south from the Gran Paradiso National Park.
Ottino already expressed more than 10 years ago an interest to contribute to the European Wilderness Network. Several meetings with representative of the European Wilderness Society showed several obstacles to find the wild area in the Gran Paradiso National Park, which would meet the European Wilderness Quality Standard However the updated European Wilderness Quality Standard opened the door even for smaller areas to join and contribute to the European Wilderness Network. Four Wilderness labels and five Wilderness categories created more flexibility and opportunity to protect and save Europe´s last Wilderness and Wild areas.
Nature Park Alpi Cozie
Mr. Michele Ottino new destination becomes the Nature Park Alpi Cozie, Italy. The area is 28 000 hectares, rising from plains up to 3 500 meters, home of the golden eagle, a pack of wolf, frogs, toads and newts, with many wild orchids, rare butteflies and a potential Wilderness.
The Park forbids hunt, damage or alterate natural ecosystems, collect flowers, remove minerals, ignite fires and any activity that involves substantial changes in the state of the nature. Also all regional and national environmental regulations are valid, such as the prohibition on riding on motorbike trails, disturbing animals, abandoning waste, or gathering mushrooms without the card or products of the forest in excessive quantities.
Our Wilderness team will visit this gem in the Italian alps this spring to start the process to include the Nature Park Alpi Cozie in the unique European Wilderness Network.