No ski resort in bear country

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Court axes plan for ski station on groups that the area houses endangered bears.

2 April 2008

LEON - Plans to construct a ski station inside a León natural park are illegal, the Superior Court of Castilla y León ruled yesterday, on the grounds that the area set to house the San Glorio Ski Station lies in an area home to endangered bears.

In 1999, the Castilla y León regional government drew up the boundary for the natural park, thus prohibiting many activities such as skiing in the area.

However, in 2006, the Popular Party-controlled regional government tried to rework the protection order to allow for the construction of a resort in the park, situated between the provinces of León, Cantabria and Palencia.

The court Tuesday denied the new classification, on the grounds that the park is home to one of two brown bear populations in Spain.

The ruling also cited the poor prospects for a ski station in an area that gets very little snow, allied to the effect of global warming.

[Copyright El Pais 2008]

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