The San Glorio Project

Land Use Directives

The Castile-León regional government, Junta de Castilla y León, have just published their latest, rushed out, regional spatial planning directives, Directrices de Ordenación del Territorio, or DOT's, in a barely concealed effort to allow the construction of the San Glorio ski resort.

The latest directives, while at least containing pretty pie charts and graphs, and a bibliography at the end of the environmental "study", is in fact not scientific in the slightest. Anybody who has written, or even read, a scientific paper or analysis knows that the first thing you must do to lend your paper any credibility is to tell the reader which information comes from which source. Even if you don't speak Spanish a glance at the report (1) will show that no external information is specifically cited at all.

According to El País (2), the new directives are still full of plagiarised text copied from websites such as (Ornamental Trees). The descriptions (brief and simplified) of the region's fauna have been copied from (Young Cantabria) while some of the text on countryside conservation comes from a Chilean guide.

This isn't to say that the whole report is rotten however. Much is made of the need to promote the GR walking routes and conserve the ancient sheep-droving tracks that run through the region as well as advertising regional products to increase tourism and halt rural depopulation. Mention is made more than once of their desire to improve the existing road infrastructure rather than build new. Only time will tell on that score.

Hunting is another good money spinner so that also gets a push, although how they can justify allowing hunts to take place in bear territory and at the same time state that they are working on the Plan for the Recuperation of the Brown bear is beyond me. Although they list many areas in special need of protection in their environmental assessment, I notice no mention is made of the Naranco valley (proposed area for a car park), for example, and other zones proven to be of prime importance (3), used by the bears for breeding and feeding as well as being vital corridors of passage between the two separated populations.

Still, if all you really want to do is make lots of money by allowing the building of a ski resort and the chalets that would come with it, perhaps it's good enough...........


(1) The Regional Government of Castile-León's Spatial Planning/Land Use Directives can be downloaded from The Platform in Defense of the San Glorio's website,

(2) Article in El País on how the Castile-León are trying to endorse the possible ski resort.

(3) "San Glorio, Vital for the Future of the Brown bear", Iñaki Reyero and Javier Fernández, 2007. A two-year study published in Quercus,