THE Sierra de las Nieves is likely to be declared a National Park after an 84-year wait.
It comes after Spain’s Secretary of State for the Environment, Maria Garcia, addressed the issue in a Madrid press conference.
The official said the Spanish Government “is convinced” that the area deserves to become a National Park due to its outstanding biodiversity, and that she intends a draft law to “reach the courts by the middle of next year.”
She went on to express regret that the issue “dates back to 1934,” the year that Ronda Council first applied to elevate the park to a Natural Site of National Interest, a process that was shelved due to the outbreak of civil war in 1936.
But the final decision cannot be made until the Junta de Andalucia regional authority and Spanish National Parks body finish a technical report that they are working on together, although a “basic agreement” is already in place.
The Sierra de las Nieves forms part of the Serrania de Ronda mountain range and its heart lies just over an hour’s drive inland from the Costa del Sol.
Named after the snow which often covers the upper slopes in winter, its highest peak is the 1,919-metre La Torrecilla, while several rivers, including the Rio Verde which feeds the La Concepcion dam at Istan,rise in the park.
The largely unspoiled 993-square-kilometre area was declared a UNESCO biosphere reserve in 1995 and is home to an enormous diversity of wildlife including a number of endangered plant and animal species.