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Integration of the Triglav National Park electric vehicle into the park's local community and opening of the Mangrt Learning Trail

Integration of the Triglav National Park electric vehicle into the park's local community and opening of the Mangrt Learning Trail
Yesterday, in Log pod Mangrtom, representatives of the Triglav National Park Public Institution ceremonially handed over an electric vehicle to the Municipality of Bovec. The first vehicle of its kind will be used for transport in the local community. It will contribute to traffic mitigation and, consequently, to climate change mitigation. The opening of the Mangrt Educational Trail at the Mangrt saddle was followed by a guided tour of the Mangrt Educational Trail, which was accompanied by rich descriptions of the trail's contents by the Institute's employees and others involved in its creation and development.

Sustainable mobility is one of the priority fields of the Triglav National Park Public Institution (TNP), mainly as a support for local people in locations where public transport is extremely limited or non-existent, but also by guiding visitors. In the context of supporting the park's local communities in implementing investments and developing measures that encourage the use of sustainable mobility and at the same time contribute to a better quality of life for the local population, JZ TNP, under the Climate Fund - Sustainable Mobility 2022-2023, has purchased a Toyota Proace Verso EV Shuttle van for passenger transport in the local community. At a ceremony in Log pod Mangrtom yesterday, representatives of JZ TNP handed over the vehicle for free use to the Municipality of Bovec.


The Mayor of Bovec, Valter Mlekuž, expressed his satisfaction that it is the Municipality of Bovec that will be blazing the trail in this area. "I would like to see other park municipalities in the future to have such a vehicle for transporting residents in the local community. We are happy to be part of the Triglav National Park, which is no longer just a set of restrictions, but increasingly connects us, and every park municipality benefits from this. We are proud to be part of this unity."

Simon Škvor, Director of the Development Centre Posočje, said, "We are delighted to be part of this story, which addresses sustainable mobility and public passenger transport. Sustainable mobility is something we have all embodied and it is the new development paradigm in these valleys of ours. We are working to ensure that this development is comprehensive and systemic." He also pointed to the need for systemic funding for organised public transport and sustainable mobility, which is being developed in a coherent way throughout the whole of the Julian Alps.

The new acquisition in the park's local community was also welcomed by Dr Matej Gabrovec from the Anton Melik Geographical Institute at ZRC SAZU, a representative of the expert council of JZ TNP, who is a great expert and user of sustainable mobility. By handing over the vehicle for free use, he said, the country, through JZ TNP, is repaying its debt to the local community for the otherwise long-standing disorganisation of public transport by concessionaires in the area, and now it has to make sure that it is integrated as a whole.

Many other participants in the event expressed their thoughts on the occasion, each describing from their own point of view the importance of handing over the first electric vehicle for free use to the local park community.


Pursuing sustainability objectives

The urgency of promoting sustainable mobility measures in the context of climate change mitigation has been demonstrated by the recent disasters that have ravaged our region. TNP JZ has allocated around €40,000 for the vehicle and an additional €5,000 for an app that will make transport more personalised. In accordance with the legislation (Articles 10 and 11 of the Triglav National Park Act) and with the approval of the Bovec Municipal Council, the shuttles represent an extra standard for the citizens of the Municipality of Bovec, as this is an activity that follows the development guidelines of the Triglav National Park management.

The project pursues highly sustainable objectives such as traffic calming, promoting the use of public transport in the National Park, supporting the local community in the implementation of basic/extra-standard activities, and also follows climate change mitigation objectives.


New Mangrt Educational Trail

Today, JZ TNP, together with other stakeholders, opened the new Mangrt Learning Trail and enriched the event with a special guided tour by our staff and other experts from the institutions involved in the creation and equipping of the trail. It has two starting points, at the car park in front of the last tunnel and at the last car park. The junction of the two sections is at the turn-off behind the mountain hut. The trail passes the hut, following a partly newly laid path to the road. The most comfortable part of the route is the abandoned road, which, in favourable weather conditions, which yesterday were covered by fog, offers outstanding views and at the same time allows visitors who are not used to walking on 'normal' high mountain paths to do so safely.

The contents of the trail include phenomena in the fields of botany (the extraordinary diversity of alpine flowers), fauna (the location of a quiet area for the cotinga kurina), geology (nariv, folds, faults, etc.), meteorology (the optimal conditions for the formation of buoyant winds), traditional human activities (mountain climbing and alpine grazing), history (the post-war period) and mountaineering (the protected Slovenian trail in the Mangartu). In addition to providing a safe place to visit (and to walk), the main purpose of the new trail is to direct the visitor to a line that runs along the edge of, or past, a quiet area dedicated to the protection of the white-footed eagle, a bird species that is endangered on a European scale and which is extremely abundant in the Mangart saddle.

The trail is already registered in the online hiking and mountaineering platforms maPZS (in cooperation with the Slovenian Mountaineering Association) and OutdoorActive (in cooperation with the Julian Alps Community). It is defined as a moderately difficult trail. It is four kilometres long and runs at an altitude of between 1770 and 2070 metres. It takes about two and a half hours to complete and the visitor has to climb 300 metres. Suitable footwear is required and the trail can only be visited in the land season.


Complex and time-consuming rehabilitation of erosion hotspots

As is well known, the Mangrt saddle is considered a valuable part of the Triglav National Park and the Julian Alps. Its geological, geomorphological, botanical, zoological and meteorological features create an exceptional mix of natural features that attract many visitors during the summer season. The relatively easy access road to the saddle, built for the war effort, means that visitors are not only experienced mountaineers, but also day-trippers and others. The aim of the excursionists is to visit the top of the viewpoint road, which has been closed for the last few years due to a collapse. The upper part of the saddle was accessible by a number of routes in the past, many of which have been created as a result of inadequate visitor guidance. Inadequate visitor guidance has led to erosion processes in the area of the saddle, which is already extremely sensitive.

The aim of the planned intervention was to rehabilitate the hotspots and to create a nature trail from the car parks to the lookout ridge. The work took place during the last summer season. Due to the size of the area, the strict nature conservation conditions, the high altitude and the relative remoteness of the area, the work was demanding and time-consuming, but the experience was important and valuable for further activities related to guiding visitors for various trail managers or guardians at other locations in the Triglav National Park. The value of the works was around €40,000.


Thanks to the many participants

The many individuals and organisations whose representatives were present at today's event are responsible for all the processes, works and parts of today's event. Among them were representatives of the Municipality of Bovec, the Posoce Development Centre, the Log pod Mangrtom Local Community, the Log pod Mangrtom Tourist Board, the markacist Igor Mlakar, representatives of the Bovec Mountaineering Society, the caretaker of the hut at Mangrt saddle, and representatives of the Slovenian Nature Conservation Institute, Ministry of Natural Resources and Spatial Planning, the Association of Military Mountaineers of Slovenia, the Italian State Forestry Department, the CAI Trbiž/Tarvisio Mountaineering Association, representatives of the Julian Foothills Nature Park, Toyota Slovenia, the Slovenian Mountaineering Association, and many others, including dedicated locals. We would like to thank all the participants.