The first steps were taken yesterday toward protecting the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range which runs across northern Majorca. Balearic Minister for the Environment, Margalida Rossello, unveiled the scheme yesterday saying that her aim is to declare the 188.311 hectare area a natural park. No final project has been drawn up yet, the Minister said that all of the 23 local councils effected by the mountain range have been asked to help decide how best to protect the future natural park. “Today we've opened the door to protecting the mountain range, now we can start the consultation process with experts, councils and the general public involved in the creation of the final project to be put before the Balearic government,” she said during the scheme's presentation at the Balearic University. At the moment a team of 24 professionals, including ecologists and forestry experts, are studying and investigating the Serra de Tramuntana and the 23 councils directly involved are Pollensa, Escorca, Fornalutx, Sóller, Mancor, Deiá, Banyalbufar, Puigpunyent, Estellencs, Andratx, Esporles, Valldemossa, Bunyola and Alaró while Palma, Calviá, Santa Maria, Lloseta, Selva, Campanet, sa Pobla, Alcudia and Binissalem local councils will also be consulted. The conservation and protection project will not only apply to flora and fauna, but also to the traditional dry stone walls and paths, the river beds, streams and springs, the woodland, the sea bed down to a depth of 40 metres, especially the bay of Pollensa and the preservation of traditional farming methods and agricultural products. All of this will be the direct responsibility of the natural park. Three other areas of protection, municipal urgent development, port usage and urban development, are to be the responsibility of the local council. Rossello said that unless action is taken to protect the Serra de Tramuntana it will fall victim to urban development.