It will destroy nature, ecologists criticize the creation of the lookout tower on Králický Sněžník

They perform excavation work for the foundations of the building. According to ecologists, this will irreversibly damage Europe’s extraordinary natural part, and due to the lookout tower, there will also be a significant increase in tourists at the top of the mountain, which will have negative effects on the unique ecosystem of alpine forest-free forest. Therefore, they are considering filing a complaint with the European Commission, said the Rainbow Movement, the Czech Ornithological Society and the Society of Friends of the Jeseníky Mountains.

“Building a lookout tower on a site that already provides distant views of the countryside is a waste of public money. For the third highest mountain range in our country, it is another severe blow after the construction of the ski area and the Trails in the Clouds in Dolní Moravě. A few years ago, a little-visited place and a unique island of the wilderness are creeping devastating mass tourism, “said Jiří Beneš, coordinator of the Let’s Save Forests from the Rainbow Movement call.

According to environmental organizations, the rules for placing such buildings in a protected nature area have apparently not been followed. They blame the Ministry of Regional Development, which did not ensure sufficient protection of the territory, and the Ministry of the Environment, which did not insist on the interstate process of assessing the plan.

“Of the three set conditions, the Polish side did not accept one and the other two are more of a cosmetic nature. An analysis of possible impacts on Natura 2000 conservation sites was prepared in Poland for the construction of the lookout tower in 2013, but it unreliable evaluated and underestimated the expected development of attendance and related impacts so that the conclusion of the analysis would allow construction, “said environmental organizations. The administration of the Jeseníky Protected Landscape Area, to which the Králický Sněžník area falls, issued an opinion in January 2014, in which it stated that the transport of construction material would be provided by helicopter without the need for landing.

“In 2020, a 34-meter-high new landmark is being built on the basis of an outdated and non-transparent approval process that took place in 2013 and 2014 and was based on a poor environmental impact assessment report. Environmental organizations point out that, although this is an extraordinary area in Europe, there was no public discussion on the topic and everything took place behind closed doors and from the table, “added the Rainbow Movement.

Photo: Marek Stránský, wikimedia

A view of the Králický Sněžník massif from the Mountain of the Mother of God above the town of Králíky.

The Ministry of the Environment stated that in September 2013, the Polish side informed it of the termination of the EIA process in an interstate context. The reason was a change of plan by the notifier, when the modified plan consisted only of the construction of a simple lookout tower, protective railing along the boundaries of the land on which the lookout tower will be located and fencing of the tourist path, without building another building, without accompanying infrastructure, telecommunication channel and without sanitary facilities and service facilities. “The Ministry therefore had to accept the end of the interstate EIA process, but nevertheless demanded that the Polish side take into account the three conditions set by the Jeseníky Protected Landscape Area Administration in the implementation of the plan,” said Dominika Pospíšilová from the press department.

The Ministry was also informed that the lookout tower was subject to a Polish special procedure for assessing the impact on Natura 2000 sites. Based on public suggestions, it turned to the Polish side in June this year to ask if there had been any change in plan from the latest version. According to the Polish side, nothing like this has happened, the plan does not require an EIA process even according to Czech and Polish legislation, therefore the Polish building permit, including the conditions set by the Czech side, is also valid. If this happened, the ministry would demand that the Polish side carry out a new interstate EIA process. “In case of finding a violation of valid European legal regulations, the ministry will also ask the European Commission for help,” said Pospíšilová.

In the area of ​​Králický Sněžník, tourism has increased significantly in recent years. In Dolní Moravě, the Sněžník company has built a large ski resort, which also includes a trail in the clouds with an annual attendance of around 180,000 people; a similar area is also growing in nearby Hynčice pod Sušinou in the Šumperk region.

“The construction of the lookout tower and its operation will significantly increase the number of tourists at the top of the mountain with many negative impacts in the environment of the unique ecosystem of alpine forest-free forest,” warned the Rainbow Movement.

Zdeněk Vermouzek, director of the Czech Ornithological Society, added: “The alpine nature in our country is exposed to enormous pressure from tourism and is gradually disappearing as a result of climate change. Its remnants, these pearls of our nature, must be consistently protected so that they can be used for knowledge and instruction. Only a fool will turn them into tourist amusement parks. “

“Everywhere we read about how the mountain nature in our country is overloaded and destroyed by tourism. Paradoxically, one of the last undamaged places in our mountains is now being destroyed by meaningless construction and then flooded by crowds of tourists. It is an example of a perverse – dirty subsidy, when a building is created for public money, which prioritizes business over the preservation of rare and clean mountain nature, “joined Ondřej Bačík, chairman of the Society of Friends of the Jeseníky Mountains.

And according to Aneta Kohoutová, a cottage owner from Dolní Morava, “Králičák has always been the all-embracing peak that oversaw Lower Moravia. The dominant feature that crowned the whole valley. I do not understand the attempt to disrupt this unique mountain panorama with a lookout tower, which degrades the intact mountain landscape into a mere commodity of the tourism industry. “

The original lookout tower on Králický Sněžník was demolished in 1973. A new one, more than 30 meters high, is now being built. The structure is to be formed in the lower part by concrete with stone cladding, the top of the tower will be largely glazed. Environmental organizations claim that, although it is an extraordinary area in Europe, there has been no public debate on the subject and everything has taken place behind closed doors and from the table.

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