Tensions are running high, as the conflict between the Quarries and the Environmentalists – and in turn their battle against the Tuscany Regional Government who recently passed an Environmental Plan which pleased neither side – intensifies.
A local hiking club’s trail signage was destroyed recently in the valley of Arni, in the Province of Stazzema, in the Apuan Alps – in the contested marble quarrying region in Tuscany.
The Cai of Pietrasanta, (that’s the City of Art’s Chapter of the “Club Alpino Italiano”) had recently laid out and marked a new “sentiero” (pathway) but the group was surprised to find all of the trail signage gone, before a planned Sunday hike.
In recent months, in the high part of the town of Arni, altogether different signs have gone up, and these are banners clearly hostile to: the Apuan Alps Natural Park, the Cai, Environmentalists and anyone who might be “against the quarries.” (The banner at left intones: “Let’s Save the Quarries and the Quarry-workers” – the photo is from Lo Scarpone.)
The signs’ removal and presumed destruction certainly impacts the local hiking community, although the hikers themselves have no direct “chip on their shoulder” against the quarries. It’s “more than an act of vandalism” stated Giovanni Trevisiol, the Club’s local chapter, in an open letter which appeared in the Club’s website; “The act shows sheer stupidity on the part of the perpetrators, who lump together hikers and environmentalists as ‘enemies to fight’ all the while making the hiking trails more difficult still,” he continues.
The Apuan Alps’ Natural Park has recently signed an agreement with the Cai for the maintenance of the hiking trails, and this is a job made more difficult each year by acts of vandalism, lack of forest upkeep, and diminishing Park funds.
The valley of Arni is a mix of picturesque sights: the “Isola Santa,” the village sunk to make a lake (here’s a link to an english-language page from Turismo Garfagnana) and breathtaking views of the Apuan Alps, are just some of them. We link you here to a Flickr “photo stream” where you can see more photos of the hiking trails in the region.
Visit the Cai Pietrasanta official website for information about their hikes and related projects, linked here.
Previously on Art is Life:
The Quarry Controversy: Tuscany passes a compromise plan on the management of marble quarries within the Apuan Alps Natural Park – and no one is happy; scheduled for tomorrow Tuesday the 1st of July: a complete shutdown of the industry… and a “March on Florence”