There are a lot of rumours going round about what you can and cannot do in the Park, often completely unfounded. This sort of information is often transmitted by word of mouth, the perfect way to amplify insignificant facts out of all proportion, or sometimes to distort them altogether.
Sometimes (but not always!) there is nothing malicious in all this, just misinformation and a certain superficiality when talking about or judging regulations or acts about which you know little or nothing.
Here we have tried to gather together the most frequent questions on the Park and its regulations, to provide clear information and discredit some of the most widespread and mistaken rumours.
“Can you cut wood in the Park?”
The Park has completed a special project on “Forestry and Woodland Improvement” identifying all the various types of forest and woodland present in the Park and establishing area by area how much felling and of what kind is necessary to maintain the forest in optimum condition and make it productive.
In woodland for timber production managed according to a forestry plan, all uses in line with the current forest improvement plans are permitted (exactly as is the case outside the Park). In private woods, the usual forms of felling can continue, providing they comply with the “Outline Forestry Regulations and Strategy”. In practice, the same rules apply as for woodland outside the Park!
So you need to apply for permission which will be issued rapidly. The Park and State Forestry Corps proceed as rapidly as possible and express an opinion within 60 days.
No formalities are required for personal use as firewood.
To fell coppiced woodland up to 2.5 hectares and high forest up to 100 m3, all you need do is apply for permission, as is the case outside the Park.
For larger quantities, a felling plan must be presented.
“Is farming permitted in the Park?”
The Park Plan attributes great importance to seasonal migration to the mountain pastures, not just allowing the practice, but actively encouraging it. The considerable investments made in improving structures and facilities in support of the Park’s high pastures or “malghe” (more than €2 million) in order to make the period spent in the mountains more comfortable for those accompanying the livestock and ensure compliance with current health regulations on milk processing are concrete evidence of the Park’s commitment and interest in promoting and stimulating the activities of this sector. (see for example the Recovering mountain pastures) project.
“Can you pick mushrooms in the Park?”
“Yes, but only if you are resident, a property owner or born locally”
Outside the strict nature reserves and general managed reserves, all residents, property owners (and managers) and those born in communities within the Park boundaries are allowed to gather mushrooms, herbs and woodland fruits. Gathering fungi is controlled by the regulations in force in the Veneto Region and those drawn up by the Associations of Upland Authorities (“Comunità Montane“).
“Is it true that if you own a mountain hut in the Park, you can’t carry out any work on it and it goes to ruin?”
The Park encourages the restoration and maintenance of buildings of historic and cultural interest which contribute to the distinctive identity of the local area, ensuring respect for traditional types and materials. In particular, in the case of farm and forestry buildings, the Park Plan provides for functional improvements and action to bring them in line with EC health and hygiene regulations. It also encourages restoration of buildings for use as holiday accommodation within the Park and surrounding areas.
In some specific cases, the Park may contribute to particularly worthy restoration and recovery projects, implemented using traditional techniques and contributing to improving the built heritage and thus the area in general.
“Is access to some areas of the Park regulated?”
“Yes, to the strict nature reserves”
In some very limited parts of the Park (strict nature reserves and type B2 general managed reserves), access is limited to existing footpaths. In the rest of the Park, visitors can move about in complete freedom. The only prohibited activities are canyoning and mountain biking off existing forestry and farm tracks. Caving is allowed for study purposes only and must be agreed with the Park. Horse riding is allowed over most of the area, with the exception of the most sensitive areas listed above.>>>
“Is it true that the Park can expropriate private property?”
One of the most serious rumours going around is that in the Park, you are no longer boss in your own home.
This is not true, given that setting up of the Park does not in any way modify property ownership and does not involve expropriation. Of the 32,000 hectares occupied by the Belluno Dolomites National Park, about half is owned by the State (because it was purchased by the State 20 years before the Park was set up!), the other half belongs to local authorities or private individuals. Over the years, the Park Authority has bought a number of public and private properties.
If the owner is willing, the Park may buy land, but it certainly cannot expropriate it.
A “pre-emption right” exists for zones A and B. In other words, if a private citizen decides to sell, he informs the Park and if appropriate the Park may decide to buy the land at the price asked by the owner (we are talking here of mountain crags and high pastures!).
“Is it true that the Park releases adders?”
“No, of course it isn’t!”
To many, such a question may seem absurd, but unfortunately there is a widespread belief that the Park frees adders in its area. Obviously it isn’t true, it would be nonsense! This is a classical urban (or rather, in this case, mountain) legend, without any foundation whatsoever.
If you have any other questions about the Park and its work, what you can do and what is covered by regulations, do not hesitate to contact us. You can:
– send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
– write to: Ente Parco Nazionale Dolomiti Bellunesi Piazzale Zancanaro, 1 32032 Feltre (BL)
– call the Park Head Offices (Tel. 0439/3328)