Name: Cozie Alps
Main land uses and ownership status of the project area:
The area covers seven valleys of Cozies Alps (Germanasca, Chisone, Ripa, Thuras, Susa, Cenischia and Sangone Valleys). The area is in general typically alpine. The urbanized and agricultural areas occupy an area mainly located in the valley floor (3%), the residual territory is occupied by forests (39%), grasslands (36%), rocks and cliffs (22%).
Tourism is concentrated in alpine ski resorts areas during winter season mainly in Susa Valley – Chisone Valley (Via Lattea e Bardonecchia), and secondarily in Germanasca Valley (Ghigo di Prali). Also cross country motor vehicle tourism along the several military ancient roads is typically in Susa e Chisone valleys during the summer. Hiking is concentrated within Natural Parks. Shepherds occupy alpine pasture areas during the summer, generally from June to September. Pastures are not owned by shepherds, but they are usually leased. Over 70% of the territory is publicly owned, mostly municipal.
Natural features of the area:
The whole project area includes a wide mountainous area characterized by high natural covering with large altitudinal gradient (from 500 to over 3000 m) and a variety of exposure that allows the presence of richly differentiated environments from different types of forest to grassland, alpine meadows and shrubland-rock areas. Broadleaf forest or mixed deciduous plant communities are present at lower altitude. Coniferous forests are present over 1100 m and pine (Pinus sylvestris), spruce (Picea abies)
and fir (Abies alba), larch (Larix deciduas) are dominant.
The particular biogeography position, the geologic and climatic variety explain therefore the extraordinary biodiversity of this alpine sector as the presence of several SCI (19) denotes. The area is rich of endemic species, some of them with a very limited distribution area.
Wolf packs have settled in the core area since 1996, when the first reproduction of the wolf pack in the Natural Park of Gran Bosco di Salbertrand has been documented, which is one of the first packs settled in the Western Alps. Currently, the wolf is present all over the valleys of the project core area, organized in 5 reproductive packs with an average territory of 200 km2.