by ERN
European Rivers Network
photo Loira à Serre de la Fare (43) photo barrage Villerest photo La Loire en aval de Tours photo loire moyenne   photo Loire moyenne
Loire Vivante
the network of citizens and NGOs who is fighting for a living Loire River


Chronology of the Loire Debat over the years  ( suite)


1993 - January: "The Loire estuary, a zone to be reconquered". Loire Vivante publishes a brochure about the numerous dangers which the estuary faces, especially as the port of Nantes authorities want to enlarge the docks.

 - February: 4th anniversary of the Serre de la Fare dam site. The site is guarded night and day.

 - April: Naussac II public inquiry. After campaigning to publicize the public inquiry, SOS Loire Vivante collects 6 800 depositions unfavorable to the project.

 - May 13, 14, 15: Representatives of the EPALA visit the different dam projects locations. The different Loire Vivante associations demonstrate to "welcome" them: 150 people in Le Veurdre, 200 in Serre de la Fare.
 - May 25: First meeting Loire Vivante/Michel Barnier, the new Environment Minister, in Paris.

 - June: Petition campaign to have the Poutès-Monistrol dam on the upper Allier river demolished because it hampers the salmon migration to their spawning grounds. This operation is launched with the clothing company Patagonia, the AIDSA (International Association for the Defense of Atlantic Salmon) and the magazines "Le Pêcheur Professionnel" ("The Professionnal Fisherman") and "Grand Air".

 - July 9: An agreement is signed between SOS Loire Vivante and the Fishermen's Federation of Haute-Loire to restore the Bonnefont farm and turn it into a fishing lodge.

 - July: "Stop destroying the Loire valley". Loire Vivante Touraine and a local association SOS Val de Loire, supported by the WWF and SOS Loire Vivante, realize a brochure to oppose that the highway Angers-Tours is built right in the Loire floodplain in Langeais, on the middle Loire. The authorities will end up abandoning the idea of  this passage on the floodplain.

 - July 15: The Environment Minister visits the Serre de la Fare dam site. SOS Loire Vivante is invited to participate in the negociation to "find a solution for a safety without dam". Michel Barnier also holds different meetings along the Loire river to discuss the issue and announces that a global decision will be announced in the fall of 93.

 - July 17: rock concert in Serre de la Fare. For the fourth year, SOS Loire Vivante organizes a rock concert on the occupied dam site, with local and regional bands. Each concert has been attended by approximately 400 people. SOS has also organized many other concerts in support of its action: one filling up the Le Puy theater (600 people) and another one, also in Le Puy, attracting about 1000 spectators.

 - August: "A trip through the heart of the Loire". Two groups of cyclists, one leaving from the source and the other from the estuary, totalling about 200 participants, meet at the geographical heart of the Loire, after making an inventory of the positive actions taken for the river.

 - August 30: The Naussac II is state-approved (the "DUP" is signed) by the "préfets" of Haute-Loire and Lozère.

 - September: In support of a campaign launched by the Green Party and following a government communication about water policy suggesting that the concessions of some hydro-electric dams may not be renewed, Loire Vivante launches a campaign for the demolition of the dams of Saint-Etienne du Vigan and Poutès-Monistrol on the upper Allier river and Maisons-Rouges on the Vienne river (another tributary of the Loire).

 - October: Several associations file a lawsuit against the Naussac II's state-approval.
 - October 12: Flood of the Loire. It shows the improvement of the flood-alert and emergency systems.

 - December 3 and 4: "Of salmon and men" colloquium in Brioude, on the upper Allier river. SOS Loire Vivante invites all the people involved in the future of the Loire-Allier atlantic salmon (professional and recreational fishermen, associations, administration, EDF--the French electricity company--, foreign specialists) to find a consensus and launch an emergency program to save the species from extinction.

 - December 7: Ten demonstrators who had entered the Poutès-Monistrol power station are sentenced to heavy fines by the court, after EDF filed a suit against them. They file an appeal.

 - December: SOS Loire Vivante sends the last 16 000 petitions against Serre de la Fare. On the whole, in 5 years, the petition has been signed by 160 000 people.

1994 - January 4: government decision, announced by Michel Barnier. This plan, called Plan Loire Grandeur Nature reinforces the positions of SOS Loire Vivante and Loire Vivante.
  - Serre de la Fare : the government confirms the decision to abandon the project and to implement the ideas of the 4th solution : works, amounting to 150 million francs, will be launched in Brives-Charensac to protect the population from flooding. These works imply that the buildings of three businesses, located in the river's bed and impeding the free passage of water during floods, will be transplanted elsewhere.
  - The Le Veurdre project is postponed : the final decision will be taken after a 5-year-long global study is led on the efficiency of alternative measures on the floods of the middle Loire (dykes' reinforcement, Allier riverbed restoration)
  - Chambonchard is approved on a 50 million m3 basis. However, if the local authorities are authorized to increase its capacity up to 70/80 Mm3 at their own expense.
  - Saint-Etienne du Vigan on the Upper Allier and Maisons-Rouges on the Vienne river will be dismantled in order to open the passage for salmon migration..
  - On the estuary, the Donges-Est wetlands are left to the authorities of the port, who intends to extend the harbor onto this area. In exchange, the port will have to restore other wetlands and to set up a protection program.
  - A program to restore natural zones is launched, part of which are the LIFE-Loire measures, which have already been created. New natural reserves will be created in La Charité-sur-Loire et in the middle Allier.

 - January 12: Fire on the dam site, while two members of SOS Loire Vivante are present. After a two-week investigation, the police arrests three suspects, from a neighboring village and known to favor the dam. Although SOS Loire Vivante had decided to leave the site after the government decision of January 4th, members still guarded it against possible damages until the official departure.

- February 11: The Serre de la Fare state-approval ("DUP") expires after 5 years. SOS Loire Vivante and the people who had been expropriated can regain their land.

 - February 13: Official end of the Serre de la Fare site occupation, after exactly 5 years, 1825 days and nights. The campsite is cleaned out and left to its natural beauty.

 - March 1rst : Meeting with Michel Barnier about the implementation of the Loire Grandeur Nature program.


suite 1994

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