The three-day meeting took place from May 15th to 17th and consisted of sessions dedicated to each work package (WP), in which specific updates and activities related to the past months were discussed, as well as upcoming activities and next steps. As in our last few meetings, we also maintained an interactive format of discussions and planning between each PCS and Work package leaders. In between the sessions we had the opportunity to discover the Steyr Pilot Case Study (PCS) on dedicated field trips in the region.

Upper Austria is drained almost completely via the Danube through a wide network of rivers. These rivers are the lifelines of sustainable development in the regionThey are home to a myriad of organisms, they provide recreation opportunities and prosperous conditions for a sustainable touristic development and their power helps us to produce energy. Alpine rivers can only provide these and other services to society if we take care of them, on the basis of comprehensive river management.

In Upper Austria’s Pilot Case Study, the catchment of Steyr River upstream of Grünburg/Steinbach, a broad public participation process about protection needs and sustainable usage is carried out within the SPARE project. The goals of the participation process are to increase awareness of the citizens about all types of ecosystem services and to offer a platform for conflicting actors to come together and work on common development targets and sustainable perspectives for the river region. In 2017 four stakeholdermeetings were organized to discuss this. Based on the results of these meetings a large scale online survey was prepared. Each household in the Pilot Case Study region was invited to participate in the online survey. 824 persons (ca. 10 %) filled in the survey and gave their view on river management practices.

For further information about the Steyr PCS please read here.

Field trip 1, Steyrdurchbruch and Pießling, 15. May 2018

Our first stop was in Roßleithen where we walked to the Pießling Ursprung to visit the spring of Pießling. The Pießling Ursprung is one of the strongest karst springs in Austria and due to the heavy rainfalls the days before, the runoff was very impressive. In the past there were many mills / water wheels on the river Pießling. While we were there we visited the skythe smithy Schröckenfux. This factory was founded in 1540 and top quality scythes are still produced there and exported all over the world. Furthermore, Schröckenfux produces mower knives and mower knife parts for a variety of agricultural machines.

Our nextt stop was the Steyrdurchbruch where we enjoyed a guided tour through the hydropower plant by Albert Fuchs of the Energie AG. The powerplant Steyrdurchbruch was built in 1908 in Art Nouveau style and all the details have been nicely preserved until today!

Field trip 2, Water reservoir of Klaus, Dr. Vogelsang-Klamm and Bosruckhütte, 16. May 2018

On our second field trip we visited the water reservoir and hydropower plant in Klaus. This hydropower plant was built in 1975. There we also enjoyed a short guided tour where we were able to have a look inside the dam and learned more about its turbulent history. 

Afterwards we moved upstream the Steyr and Teichl to the Dr. Vogelgesang canyon. Between 1926 and 1927, the canyon was made accessible for visitors by installing approximately 500 steps made out of wood and stones. A walk of approx. 1 hour lead us through the canyon. At the top of the canyon we enjoyed a nice dinner at the Bosruckhütte (alpine hut). 

UPCOMING: please save the date of our Final Conference on Nov. 21st and 22nd in Innsbruck! More information and detailed programme to follow.

 

Written by CIPRA together with Project Partners from Upper Austria and BOKU