A budget ski resort expansion is poised to carve 333km of new slopes and 113km of ski lifts through a UNESCO World Heritage Site of “outstanding universal value.”
The 400 square kilometre Pirin National Park in Bulgaria is one of Europe’s best-preserved homes for large mammals such as brown bears and wolves, which roam its glacial lakes, alpine meadows and dense forest.
WWF expert in Bulgaria Katerina Rakovska said that new documents showed that the government had aligned its draft to “exactly” fit the zoning regime requested by the prospective ski resort builder, Ulen.
“This disastrous plan would open the door for the clear cutting of centuries-old forests, causing grave damage to biodiversity,” she said. “Research already shows that brown bears, chamois and capercaillie are avoiding areas of mass tourism. Under this proposal, they would literally have nowhere else to go.”