Trees are to be cut down in the Tatra National Park for the construction of a new ski lift. The authorities of Zakopane and the national park are in favor of the investment. However, nature defenders have doubts and ask why the director of the TPN allows construction at all.
Two thousand trees in the Tatra National Park will be destroyed. The construction of a ski lift on the Nosal slope is getting closer, because the City Hall in Zakopane has already issued a positive environmental decision. – This is a lift that is to be built mainly so that world-class or European competitions can be held in Zakopane, as they were in the 1960s – assures Leszek Dorula, mayor of Zakopane. – Saws, bulldozers, noise, artificial snow, artificial lighting and even greater pressure on the Tatra National Park – says Radosław Ślusarczyk from the Workshop for All Beings.
The Tatra National Park, which does not protest against the construction, is the investor. – If it were done by a private entity, there would be immediate claims for extending the operating time, widening the route, increasing capacity. We know such situations from practice, and the TPN is a guarantee that this type of situation will not occur – assures Szymon Ziobrowski, director of the Tatra National Park.
However, experts – despite TPN’s assurances – wonder why it allows construction at all. – The entity established to protect nature undertakes such aggressive, anti-natural activities – says Dr. Hab. Przemysław Chylarecki, ornithologist, Greenmind Foundation. – Instead of protecting the Tatra Mountains against negative investments, the director of the park is a supporter of this investment. He is more worried about the rising price of the steel used to build the lift than about the peregrine falcon being endangered, points out Radosław Ślusarczyk.
The director of the TPN says that there are more rare falcons. A positive opinion for the investment was issued by the regional directorate for environmental protection, having previously asked for the opinion of the investor itself, i.e. the Tatra National Park, which knows the area.
Skiers are happy with the vision of the new lift. They last skied on the steep slope of Nosal several years ago. Then, only the meadows at the foot of the mountain were available. – This is an iconic place, and besides, this slope – from the point of view of parameters – is simply perfect for more professional training – says Andrzej Kozak, president of the Tatra Ski Association. – It would be good to organize the World Cup there after 50 years – says Andrzej Bachleda-Curuś, medalist of the Alpine Combined World Championships, two-time Olympian.
Their researcher, Dr. Nuria Selva Fernandez from the Institute of Nature Conservation of the Polish Academy of Sciences and the International Union for Conservation of Nature, is concerned about bears taking a nap in the area during a sporting event. – If the habitat is taken away and demolished, then there are no bears. Where are they supposed to go? – Fernandez asks. – That’s what Natura 2000 is for, that’s why national parks are there, to say: “stop, not here” – adds Chylarecki.
Main photo source: Fakty TVN