Mountain Wilderness Austria
Mountain Wilderness Belgium
Mountain Wilderness Belgium is the belgian chapter of the movement and its objective is to sensibilize the belgian people to the wilderness in the mountains and all the benefits of it. We are trying to vehiculate the message to the people who are practicing mountaineering in the summer and in the winter, but that are not living in the mountains and in the concerned regions.
They are very important to sensibilize because of their situation. They have to be actors in the mountains and not only consumators who don’t care about the evolution of the mountains. They have the responsability to protect the mountain they love and they want other people to respect.
Mountain Wilderness Catalunya
Mountain Wilderness France
Mountain Wilderness France was established in 1988 as the very first national branch of the international organization created one year earlier in Italy. It still is the largest such chapter, with close to 1500 card-carrying members and a salaried staff of five dedicated professionals.
Haroun Tazieff, legendary volcanologist, was its first president, succeeded by famed mountaineer Patrick Gabarrou. François Labande, renowned author of mountaineering guidebooks, remained the linchpin of the association for the following eight years, when its headquarters were located near Evian, on the french-side shores of Lake Geneva.
In 1996, the seat of Mountain Wilderness France moved to Grenoble and a new team took over, with Bernard Amy as the new president. As a hotbed of environmental activists and mountain freaks, Grenoble, capital of the french Alps, proved to be a good choice for the seat of an expanding national NGO that brought these cultures together in a novel, idiosyncratic way. In spite of the historic and geographic pull of this alpine centre of gravity, Mountain Wilderness France does, however, have its membership spread over all of France, and its actions target all other french mountain areas (Pyrénées, Massif Central, Vosges, Jura, Corsica).
On important actions such as lawsuits against development projects or all-terrain vehicle rallies, Mountain Wilderness generally acts in coordination with mainstream regional environmental organizations such as FRAPNA, federated under the umbrella of France Nature Environment, but also with the Federation of French Alpine Clubs (FFCAM).
Mountain Wilderness Germany
Mountain Wilderness Germany was established April 23th, 2000, in Munich.
Our executive board consists of three persons, Dr. Gotlind Blechschmidt, Karin Lankes and Michael Pröttel. The German representant is Dr. Richard Goedeke, a passionated climber and writer of mountain guide books . The members of MW Germany come from all over the country.
The purpose of MW Germany is to protect the few remaining areas of wilderness in the German Alps and save them from fun park tourism, expansion of ski resorts, and new exploitation. We organise actions and campaigns to draw attention to the issues, to sensibilise the local people, to get in contact with the decision-makers and to generate quite a publicity effect. We cooperate with some other nature conservation organisations and NGOs.
The main focus of our work is on the small German part of the Alps. As there is no MW chapter in Austria we sometimes extend our territory of activities to the Austrian Alps as well, e.g., the protection of the Austrian Pitztal glacier.
We also published two guide books on summer and winter hikes that can be reached by public transport.
Meanwhile we evolved from a small group of mere activists into a respected organisation, well-known in the media and alpine scene.
Mountain Wilderness – protecting mountains so that we can experience true wilderness.
Mountain Wilderness Italy
The Italian Chapter was established on June 11th 1991 as a consequence of the actions taken by the newly created Association Mountain Wilderness at the end of the eighties on Montblanc and Marmolada. Its first legal representative was Alessandro Gogna, the present one is Fausto De Stefani, and Honorary President is Carlo Alberto Pinelli. Mountain Wilderness Italia fills a void, i.e. the lack of an association thoroughly and steadily working for the safeguarding of the mountain environment. Most of the Italian territory is mountainous: apart from the Alps we have the important Appennini range, which also needs protection and defence.
Mountain Wilderness International immediately entrusted Mountain Wilderness Italia with two important tasks: the creation of a Montblanc Park and Dolomiti, World Heritage. This latter campaign has been partially won in 2009, when UNESCO gave the Dolomites recognition of Natural World-Wide Heritage.
On a national level, during the years we have struggled for Marmolada (a trial for damages of the glacier won by Mountain Wilderness during the first two stages) and Monte Rosa, heliski and motorsleighs, parks (Mountain Wilderness has been successful in obtaining the creation of the National Gran-Sasso-Laga Park), protected areas, water and electricity, mountain roads…
During the years Mountain Wilderness underwent a transformation: at first a group of expert mountaineers produced a number of important and well visible events aiming at making the Association known to a wide public. Now small groups of strongly convinced mountain lovers give up their free time to fight against the aggression on nature. Today Mountain Wilderness has several hundred members and works on a purely voluntary basis, thus being a credible and faithful point of reference. “Never so many people owe so much to so few”. In 2004, after many years, the Italian Ministry concerned has admitted Mountain Wilderness among the Associations for the Protection of the Environment.
Today it is the main task of Mountain Wilderness Italia to raise voice for those who have no other means of being heard, to take action wherever nobody else is able or willing to do so for the defence of the mountain world, to call upon other associations in order to form a common front and deliver an incisive message in favour of the environment.
Mountain Wilderness Netherlands
Mountain Wilderness Spain
Mountain Wilderness Ayllón, Guadarrana and Gredos was funded in 1991 from a nucleus of mountaineers in the center area of Spain, around Madrid, with a main interest in the protection of the mountains of the Central Range. In this range, the groups of Sierra de Ayllón, Sierra de Guadarrama, and Sierra de Gredos are prominent.As differential feature of this section, it can be pointed out that this section faces the difficult problem of protecting mountains that are very close to a Madrid, a densely populated urban nucleus. The Central Range does not contain large high mountain spaces, and the few spaces of this kind receive a very high pressure of visitors, mainly in Guadarrama. On the other hand, the medium mountain and the mountain foot suffer a strong real estate pressure.In addition, the regional and local authorities carry out politics based on ski resorts, holiday residences and non sustainable tourism. The project for a National Park in Guadarrama is completely devaluated. These are also our complaints.Among the main actions, some cleaning actions in Guadarrama can be highlighted, not only because their immediate effect, but for their effect educating some of the polluters. Also some demonstrations demanding a good protection for Guadarrama in a future National Park, and some other actions in the Silence! campaign or in the defence of the traditional paths can be mentioned.
Mountain Wilderness Switzerland
A brief overview
Mountain Wilderness Switzerland was founded on January 16th in 1994 in Brig, a little town in the heart of the canton of Valais. Very quickly the national chapter became an important pillar of the international movement and an equally important driver of environmentally sensitive mountaineering and the protection of mountainous areas.
Our key projects and campaigns
Environmentally sensitive moutaineering
- Clean climbing: as an alternative to the all-expanding sports climbing we show the use and pleasure of rock climbing the Alps without leaving any traces.
- Wild snow: this campaign calls for the respect for wild animals in winter. mountain wilderness makes people aware of the disturbance that can be caused to wildlife by winter sports.
- AlpenTaxi: Switzerland has an excellent public transport system that is ideal for access to the Alps. Our website www.alpenTaxi.ch shows how to get to the mountains without taking the car.
- Silence! Stop Heliskiing: Most alpine countries except for Switzerland have abolished or highly restricted heliskiing. Every year, this disturbing «sport» causes 15’000 flights in the Alps. mountain wilderness is involved in the political negociations about heliskiing.
- Renaturation of wilderness areas: Remains of touristic infrastructure, military buildings or hydroelectric power plants: their presence affects wilderness areas. Mountain Wilderness calls for the accountability of authorities and responsibles and insists on the removal of any redundant buildings.
- No further exploitation of wilderness areas: many more tourism development projects are in the pipeline. Even light infrastructure like hiking trails, via ferratas and suspension bridges have severe effects on wilderness. mountain wilderness calls for a concentration of tourism development in the Alps.