Skiing is a nature sport. Experiencing the landscape and nature is an essential part of the activity. To maintain the attractiveness of the sport, nature and landscape protection is an essential basis. To this end, all those involved must comply with applicable laws.
Nature conservation in the Wintersport Arena Sauerland is subject to various legislations. Not only do different legal texts take effect, there are also different legislators involved, from the state to the federal government to the European Union.
The environmental policy of the European Union has far-reaching competences. The goals are preservation and protection of the environment up to the fight against climate change. Among other things, the Directive on the Conservation of Natural Habitats and of Wild Fauna and Flora is a nature conservation directive of the European Union, colloquially known as theFauna-Flora-Habitat Directive(FFH) or Habitats Directive. Accordingly, the national states are obliged to establish special protection areas for the habitats and species. The FFH areas together with the bird protection areas form the European network of protected areas NATURA 2000. With regard to the form of the establishment, the member states have free choice.
The Federal Nature Conservation Act divides spaces into different categories. It regulates the extent to which guests and providers may interfere with nature and the landscape, for example. In accordance with the law, areas enjoy different protection statuses.
Parts of the ski areas in the Wintersport Arena Sauerland are subject to the status of nature reserve (NSG). There, the landscape, flora and fauna enjoy special protection. In a NSG, all biotic communities are protected and their impairment is prohibited by a protected area ordinance specially formulated for each area.
Water protection areas are to be distinguished from nature reserves and other protected areas according to the Federal Nature Conservation Act. Groundwater serves as drinking water for humans and is therefore an environmental asset that is particularly worthy of protection. Some ski areas are affected by this regulation. The Lower Water Authority regulates the prohibitions, requirements and reviews approval procedures for the individual zones.
Areas can have multiple protection status at the same time. For example, they can be a nature reserve and a water protection area. Often they are also a nature reserve and FFH area.
All German federal states have their own nature conservation laws. The NRWState Nature Conservation Act serves in particular nature conservation and landscape planning. Ski areas are mainly affected by the impact regulation and biotope protection. Thus, interventions must always be compensated by compensatory or substitute measures. In addition to various other areas, biotope protection under state law also affects the typical rough pastures on the highest mountains in the Sauerland.
The Lower Landscape Authority and the Lower Water Authority, respectively, check the approval of construction projects, named conditions and check compliance with them