Gries am Brenner, Vals (AUT)

General geographic description of the municipality

The two Austrian municipalities Gries am Brenner and Vals are located close to the South Tyrolian/Italian border in the Brenner region south of Innsbruck. The municipalities are located in a mountainous region and heavily impacted by transalpine Brenner traffic routes. Long-term oriented and ecosystem-based risk reduction, whilst improving live quality, are the only strategic solutions. Several Natura 2000 areas are situated within the borders of the municipality.

What are the typical natural hazards endangering the municipality?

In 2007 and 2008 the municipality Gries am Brenner was hit by major storm events. Vals was affected by a major rock avalanche in December 2017. In both municipalities torrents and rockfall are regarded as main challenges, in addition Gries am Brenner has damages caused by debris flows in addition and Vals with avalanches.

What is the role of the forest - especially the protection forests?

Vals is one of the municipalities in Austria richest in forest that received the state prize for the most exemplary forestry management in 2004. Challenges are calamity - bark stripping damage by red deer and and potential forest damage and changes due to climate change.

Why is the PAR part of GreenRisk4Alps?

An efficient risk management system for natural hazards with the quantification of values that might based on different risk avoiding and ecosystem-based mitigation strategies is of high interest for both municipalities.

What is the benefit for the PAR from participating in the project

The benefits from GR4A are: 1. Quantification of values that profit from improved forest mangement and risk avoiding strategies. 2. Alternative solutions for typical conflicts fostering common decision on municipality level.

Image top: Vals rock avalanche (Photo: Barbara Zabota)

Image bottom: Vals rock avalanche (Photo: Paolo Perret)