Renaud Muselier was to inaugurate the Mont-Ventoux regional natural park (PNR) on Sunday, created in July 2020 but whose official baptism was delayed due to the Covid.
This PNR took more than 10 years to be born: “Everyone was fighting, farmers, hunters, walkers, municipalities, motorcyclists, cyclists”, and today “everyone is a winner”, he explained, interviewed by AFP.
In two years, the structure has notably initiated the conversion of ski slopes into four-season sports and redeveloped the summit of Mont-Ventoux, a mythical cycling stopover point, at an altitude of 1,910 meters.
This is the 9th regional natural park in the Paca region, in addition to the four national parks. And Renaud Muselier is already thinking of a 10th PNR, on the Plaine des Maures where more than 7,000 hectares of forest were ravaged in the summer of 2021. This nature reserve is the refuge of Hermann’s tortoises, listed on the national red list of species threatened and protected at international and European level.
“In any misfortune, there is good. After the fire, they realized that if they had been in a park, they would have had more guards, more financial means, more firefighters”, estimated Mr. Muselier, ex-LR now supporting Emmanuel Macron, who has promised to make ecological planning a pillar of his second regional term.
The creation of a PNR on this plain, in the hinterland of Saint-Tropez, would make it possible to “complete an inner arc” with a succession of protected parks: Mont-Ventoux, Luberon, Alpilles, Verdon, Préalpes, to finish by the Mercantour National Park, lists Renaud Muselier.
“This development to protect my region, I can do it through a parks organization which federates all the activities and multiplies the money invested”, he adds.
The last three Regional Natural Parks in Paca cover the Camargue, Sainte-Baume and Baronnies Provençales, straddling the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region.
In the Camargue, the president of the region has just decided to suspend the 850,000 euros of annual regional subsidies, or 40% of the budget of the structure, demanding a “jump” to this PNR, one of the oldest in France, and causing a open conflict with its president, the mayor of Arles Patrick de Carolis.