Why is this environment-opening work necessary?

The Mediterranean open environments are major biodiversity reservoirs: they include many key habitats such as the Mediterranean false brome grass, considered prolific and original in terms of their flora, fauna and ecological functioning.

This grass is tightly bound to human actions due to agro-pastoral activities. These environments are therefore named “substeppic grasslands” because they originally were a grazing pathway and due to the vegetation growing there. The gradual shutdown of these environment, along with the decline of animal herding since the 1950’s within this territory has resulted in the grasslands naturally evolving towards a shrubland colonization (kermes oak, cistus), and finally forestry stages (green oak, white oak) that are far more commonplace in comparison.

The surfaces of the substeppic grasslands, grass dominated by the Mediterranean false brome and rather uncompetitive yearly species, have therefore shrinked of 94% in 50 years, covering today 100 ha, which is to say less than 1% of the total surface of the Natura 2000 sites, while the specific to the open environments have become deprived of their preferred habitats.


The substeppic grasslands are dry grass dominated by Mediterranean false brome and rather uncompetitive yearly species. They are considered as prolific and original environments in terms of their flora, fauna and ecological functioning.

Though these habitats’ conservation involve a regular, skillfull maintenance by the herds, their rehabilitation require the use of mechanical intervention in case the bush colonization is far too developed: clearing, crushing, uprooting, etc.

These projects, carried out in addition and in parallel to the project with the breeders, shall be profitable to the Mediterranean false brome grass and other open habitats of community importance, such as prickly juniper arborescent matorral, which are both components or participants in the habitat of community importance bird species such as the Bonelli’s eagle, the woodlark and the tawny pipit.

What does the riparian forests protection action imply?

  • A vegetation analysis shall be made with the purpose of defining the areas and means of intervention.
  • An important work on presentation shall allow to check, along with the municipalities (land owners), users (breeders, hunters, pickers…) and technical partners, whether the recommendations on the environmental criteria match the technical factors: technical feasibility of the opening projects, realisable maintenance by the herds, property rights, challenges due to fire hazards, etc.
  • Projects on clearing, cutting for export or uprooting shall therefore be carried out on about 550 ha of the sites of the Lussan garrigues, the Gardon River and its gorges and the Garrigues camp.

The project throughout time

  1. Step 01 - 2022

    Vegetation analysis

  2. Step 02 - 2022 and 2023

    Land and grazing activities

  3. Step 03 - Fall/Winter 2023

    First work session

  4. Step 04 - Fall/Winter 2024

    Second work session

  5. Step 05 - Fall/Winter 2025

    Third work session