Chatty and Colchester - Chapter 30
The central highlands of Sardinia is the scene of a brewing conflict
between local pastoralism and the international conservation movement.
The shepherds, who spend much of their lives herding their animals in
the unsettled, rocky plateaux that separate their densely built
communities, see the establishment of the Gennargentu National Park as
the end of local autonomy, the end of their livelihood, the end of
their traditional way of life. Although the villages will remain within
the park boundaries, the flocks that wander these highlands will not.
On the other side of the conflict are the politicians, forest rangers
and environmentalists, outsiders who see these highlands not as home
and pasture but as pristine yet threatened nature, not as local
resources but as the patrimony of the earth, for the world. The local
herders look at these lands and see millions of sheep and goats
supporting thousands of families like their own; the eyes of the
outsiders focus on the now rare Sardinian mountain goat.