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Parco Naturale del Gran Bosco di Salbertrand

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Protected Area

Identity Card

  • Land Surface Area (ha): 3.774,74
  • Regions: Piemonte
  • Provinces: Torino
  • Municipalities: Chiomonte, Exilles, Oulx, Pragelato, Salbertrand, Sauze d'Oulx, Usseaux
  • Establishment Measures: L.R. n.51 20/05/1980 - L.R. n.19/2009 e s.m.i.
  • PA Official List: EUAP0208

Fiscal Code 94506780017

 

 

The Protected Area

It extends itself on the right of Val di Susa (Northern Alpi Cozie), from the 1,000 meters a.s.l. to the 2,600 meters of the watershed.
The main reason why the Park was established lies in the particular naturalistic value of the Gran Bosco: 700 hectares of mixed forest with silver and spruce firs, unique in the vegetation of Piemonte. The woods have a considerable biological value and include, in good qualitative conditions, all the precious conifers of the Alpine environment. For its unusual qualitative requirements, part of the territory has been enrolled in Libro Nazionale dei boschi da seme (National Book of the Seed Woods) for three arboreal species: Abies alba, Picca excelsa, and Pinus cembra. Great part of the interest had in the past economic reasons: these fir forests already provided in 1700 the timber used for the big straight grain beams used in the great military and civil works of engineering, like the Arsenal in Turin, Basilica of Superga, and Venaria Reale Castle.
Nowadays the specific nature of this forest is linked to the considerable presence of spruce firs, rare in the Western Alps because of the continental climate and the summer dryness; it is therefore likely that its diffusion in the Gran Bosco was due to two main reasons: a particular microclimate with the stagnation of atmospheric wetness and the existence of an ecotype resisting the summer dryness. For these reasons, together with the vegetational vigor and the good conformation of the trunks, the considered populations (together with the Larch and the Stone Pine) have been included in the National Book of Seed Woods, and are bound to provide propagation material used for the reforestation in the Alps.

Fauna

The great variety of environments and floristic species offers the ideal habitat for a very rich fauna. Only the avifauna consists of about eighty nesting species, with a high percentage of alpine avifauna. Therefore we can find several birds of prey, among which the Goshawk, the Sparrow Hawk, the Buzzard, and the Kestrel, while a couple of Golden Eagles is regularly nesting. Among the nocturnal birds of prey, besides the Tawny Owl, living at the lowest altitudes, it will be possible to hear the singing of the Eagle Owl and, in the fir forests, of the Tengmalm's Owl using for its nest the cavities dug by the Black Woodpecker, the biggest Picidae in Europe.
In the Park two Tetraonidae nest, the Ptarmigan and the Black Grouse, which together with the Rock Partridge, are the symbol of the alpine avifauna; to signal the presence of the Nutcracker, strictly linked in the Alps to the presence of Stone Pine, since it eats its pinenuts.
Among the mammals there are the hares (European hare and Arctic hare), the squirrels, the marmots, and many other rodents; the fox and the mustelid (ermine, weasel, marten, stone marten, and badger).
Important is the presence of four species of ungulates: the chamois, which has always been living in the area; the wild boar, whose original genetic elements have almost disappeared because of hybridization and crosses; the deer and the roe deer, introduced in the early 60s by the Hunting Provincial Administration and which, given the lack of natural predators, have known a real demographic explosion, causing considerable damages to the forests of the whole Upper Valle di Susa.
Programs of wildlife rebalancing consisting in selective shooting and captures and repopulations of other territories, have been and will be useful to maintain the right balance between the animals and the forest. A new and unexpected help has been given by the return of the WOLF whose presence, ascertained and continuous since 1997, is object of safeguard and study.

Flora

The great variety of the Park environments welcomes more than 600 vegetable species, among which the most important forest species in Piemonte.
At the border with the meadows of the bottom of the valley, we can find a considerable area covered in broad-leaf trees, among which Ash Trees, Birches, Maples, and Alders and thin populations of Beech Trees, as well as the presence of some nuclei of Yews.
As you move to higher altitudes, you enter the realm of conifers. In the driest and sunniest areas and on the most superficial and rocky soils you will find the Scotch Pine, sometimes covered in big mistletoe bushes. Between the 1,300 and the 1,800 meters the area is dominated by Silver Firs and Spruce Firs, extending until the eastern border of the Park. Towards the upper limit of the fir forest there is a transition bend where it is also possible to find Larches and Stone Pines, characterizing the area above the 2,000 meters of altitude. The Stone pine is also present alone - very rare in the Western Alps - with the wonderful Stone pine forest of the Piccolo Bosco.
The presence of two rare herbaceous species is worth mentioning: Corthusa Matthioli, a Primulacea with a few stations on the southern slope of the Alps, and Menyanthes Trifoliata, characteristic of the areas with brackish water, once largely widespread in the rice fields of Piemonte and today practically disappeared. The interest in its presence in the Park derives from the exceptionality of the altitude at which it is situated (about 2,350m).

Regulations for the Visit

In order to guarantee the respect of the environment and promote a quality tourism in the greatest respect of Nature, Gran Bosco di Salbertrand Park issued in 1991 its own Regulations for the Visits, that is a law regulating the presence of visitors in the protected area, with the aim to safeguard the forest, its inhabitants (animal, flowers, trees... but also men!) and the delicate balances existing between them.
In the Park it is not allowed to abandon waste, to light fires (however, in special areas it is possible to use barbecues and camping stoves), it is not allowed to pick up flowers or wild fruits, nor disturb or voluntarily kill amphibians, mollusks, or insects. Rules of good behavior that should be respected everywhere, also outside a protected area.
Dogs must be kept on leash and cannot be taken outside the recreational areas and the areas established by the Park Authority (however, if you love walking with your dog, you can go alng the road leading from Monfol to Grange Seu). From 15th May to 30th November, except specific authorization issued by the Director and under the control of qualified staff, "photographic hunting" is not allowed, in oder not to disturb the animals in the delicate period of their reproduction and birth.
If you want to enjoy the mountains and the pleasant meetings they can offer, it is not necessary to enter the forest and leave the trails. The regulations are rather strict: it is forbidden to leave the marked trails. The carriage roads within the protected area are closed to the transit of motor vehicles; however, the Park Authority can issue daily or periodical authorizations for motivated and real needs. The access by bike is free exclusively along the inner carriage roads and the trails specified by the Park Authority. Organized groups on horseback or by bike must have the authorization of the Park Director, following specific request. During the winter, the use of skis along the trails is admitted, while off-track routes are forbidden.
Organized groups and school groups can enter the Park in limited numbers and only by previous authorization issued by the Director or led by the qualified staff of the Park Authority... a good way to guarantee the safety of both men and animals and to discover the mountains and their secrets thanks to the help of expert tour guides. Camping is forbidden in all the Park territory, including in the recreational areas, but it is possible to spend the night in Daniele Arlaud Mountain Hut, managed by the Park Authority and situated in the heart of the protected area, at Montagne Seu.

  • Regulations for the Visit: Regional law no.16 of 22.04.1991 "Norme per l'utilizzo e la fruizione del Parco naturale del Gran Bosco di Salbertrand" (PDF - 84Kb)
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