A petition led by www.valdimello.it has recently helped to protect waterfalls in Val di Mello from dissapearing down a pipe. Now new plans seem to be gathering force which propose to tap into other water courses in Val Masino and once again the local community is asking for support in opposing the new plans. Below is my attempt at translating a newsletter recently sent out by the guys at valdimello.it. For those who read italian you can visit: http://www.valdimello.it/asp/ambiente.asp for better information.
Val Masino has once again in need of your help. Last May we won an important victory against a ridiculous and environmentally harmful idea. Thanks to our intervention the beautiful waterfall 'Cascata di Ferro' has not ended up hidden and running inside a tube.
Today we have come to learn that Lombardy's planning authorities have given a favourable vote to the construction of 3 hydraulic stations at the head of Val Masino, two in Val Porcellizzo and one in the forest of Bagni Masino. It is possible that they do not understand the forest, one of the most integral and praised biospheres in Lombardy. Probably they do not know that this small forest houses four laboratories dedicated to monitoring the environment, and along with the waterfall of Porcellizzo is an attraction for tens of thousands of tourists every year.
Most of the surface water in Val Masino is alread taken by Enel; added to this there are also the private plants of Val Spluga, Basso Masino and Sasso Bisolo. Until now only the head of Val Masino has been spared from this wild robbery, which amongst the other sites of special interest makes up part of the growing Bernina-Disgrazia park. Val Masino is a poor valley with a limited infrastructure, that has only its own resources. The local council are fighting with an heroic determination, but there is a large imbalance of forces: it is like David and Goliath: a poor mountain community against powerful lawyers, engineers and politicians trying to profit from the business of exploiting the water resources.
We still have some arrows to shoot against this awful speculation, but in the mean time it is important to make it known to the Mayor of Val Masino that he is not alone and is representing us to save one of our regions richest oasises.
Committee for the defense of Val Masino and Val di Mello.
Action: Please forward the following message to the council of Val Masino, putting in place your own personal details:
All'Amministrazione Comunale di Val Masino
Al sig. Sindaco Ezio Palleni
With regards to the recent authorisation announced by the Direzione Generale Territorio e Urbanistica della Regione Lombardia to the Società Energia Ambiente SPA to the tapping of the Porcellizzo waterfall in Val Masino, and considering that the river Porcellizzo traverses one of the largest and most interesting environments in Lombardy, and that its waterfalls represent an inseparable element of the region and an important turistic attraction to Val Masino. We ask the administration to put into act every possible action to stop this havoc.