Some of you may be aware of the problems the organization of La Transjurassienne encountered last winter; lack of snow was already a source of concern when just a few hours before the onset of the event, they were notified that they were not allowed to hold the events because of Environmental protection concerns.
Indeed, a beautiful bird, the Western Capercaillie more commonly known as the Wood Grouse, nests in the Jura Massif and in all evidence it needs to be protected; all Nordic lovers are in agreement. The day before the start of the 2011 events of La Transjurassienne, two elected public figures showed up with an official warrant forbidding the events to be held, all in the name of the protection of the Wood Grouse. On Saturday afternoon!!!
Heated negotiations lasting all night were necessary to finally work out an agreement (the snow conditions at the time didn’t leave many alternatives). Unfortunately, the same elected ecologists who oddly enough, would like to see the extinction La Transjurassienne are determined to continue the fight. This time, at just 2 months from the onset of La Transjurassienne events, the Prefect (head civil servant of the Region) informed the organization of La Transjurassienne that their official request for authorization to hold the 2012 events was refused by the Commission of Environmental Protection –the document was signed by a single Expert… anonymously! The events, therefore, cannot legally be held!
Unbelievable when you know to what extent Trans’Organisation goes to in the effort to create an eco-friendly event (like most Nordic races for that matter): car-pooling, using recyclable packaging, ordering products with minimum packaging and using local products to limit the transport distance, progressive elimination of plastic-throw away cups… : environmental protection is already a integral way of reasoning and acting” within the organization of La Transjurassienne.
So the race should be cancelled because the passage of skiers over one weekend could perturb the Wood Grouse’s environment? Curiously enough, before the snow falls, hundreds of vehicles drive over the same roads connecting France and Switzerland every day and no one worries about what impact that could have on the Wood Grouse!
How can you condemn Nordic skiing in the name of the environment… how can you advocate “getting back to nature” and ban ski lifts and snow making machines!
There is still time to react so that France does not disappear from the face of the Worldloppet International long-distance ski circuit. This is a call to all skiers, in France and all over the World, to send your words of encouragement and support and to testify your commitment; your commitment not only to the Environment but to all popular Cross-Country ski events by sending your testimony to:firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’d like to make it clear that I am in no way linked to the Organization of La Transjurassienne and I am not at all insensitive to the importance of fighting for environment. Quite the contrary, I have been passionately committed to ecology and have made my profession out of my convictions working as Director of Sustainable Development in several big cities as well as for regional and local French authorities.
I have always fought against climate change, for bio diversity and against a society that constantly ignores the rights of Nature: that is why I am deeply troubled by the actions of our elected ecologists. Even more so because the battle they are fighting is unjust and because they are projecting a negative image of Ecology, an image they don’t need in these times of social and economic crisis.
You have the power to save La Transjurassienne from the transgressions of these pseudo-ecologists: I’m counting on you, persist and sign…
Boris Petroff, WL master and Director of Urban Ecology.