Protest in wonfurt, discussion in steigerwald

The success of the past has faded. Unfortunately. Wonfurt was once named a gold village. The village, which lies between the main valley and the steigerwald, won a great award in the competition "our village should become more beautiful – our village has a future". The efforts of the people of wonfurt to create a home worth living in were rewarded with gold.

In the meantime, the bosomy word of the poison village is doing the rounds. The cause is the loacker recycling plant on the outskirts of the town, which processes cable and electrical scrap and is suspected of releasing dust contaminated with toxic substances from production into the surrounding area.

Investigations at the beginning of 2012 revealed that there are elevated concentrations of heavy metals, especially copper, and other toxic substances in the vicinity of the company's site. The habberge district office in habfurt, germany, as the supervisory authority, ordered the shutdown of the company. The administrative court in wurzburg reversed the decision posthaste. Since then, loacker has only been allowed to process cable scrap, no more electrical scrap.

For months, measurements were taken, and measurements are still being taken. What comes out of the plant? No one can say it definitively. The results of the investigation were published and were interpreted. Officials and operators want to reassure and deny a danger. The people of wonfurt, many citizens as well as the municipality and the citizens' initiative "lebenswertes wonfurt", still see a gross danger coming from the loacker company.

The solution to the problem, technical and structural changes with the enclosure of the production facilities, is still a long time coming. An application submitted by the company in july to make production safe has since been under review. The loacker issue has dominated the whole of 2012, and it won't get much quieter in 2013 either.

The steigerwald
If you look beyond wonfurt in the direction of the south, you see another conflict area, the steiger forest. The debate about whether a national park should be established is not dying down. Although the state government in munich has put its foot down and categorically ruled out a national park, and although the free state is creating facts with the establishment of the center for sustainable forestry in handthal (district of schweinfurt), a national park for the steigerwald is not yet a reality.

The bund naturschutz, the most ardent advocate of a protected area, repeatedly brought up the issue of a national park in 2012. There have been several efforts, and the nature conservation alliance will not stop in 2013. A national park steigerwald is the declared goal of nature conservationists.

The opponents of a national park, first and foremost the association "unser steigerwald" (our steigerwald), have been just as stubborn as the advocates, rejected the establishment of such a protection zone and referred to own concepts. Their guiding principle: people should protect and use the steigerwald – this is how the area has become what it is today over the centuries.


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