On Saturday, 20 June 2020, an unusual picture presented itself to passers-by on the Berger Strasse: a small forest of dry conifers had sprung up at the Bornheim clock tower. Information signs indicated what it was all about:
Northeast of Homberg in the Hessian Vogelsberg district, over 85 hectares of a mixed beech forest with 250-year-old trees are to be cleared. The reason for this is the extension of a motorway, the A49. The extension would lead through the Gleental nature reserve, which supplies Frankfurt with drinking water. The expansion of the motorway poses a threat to the drinking water supply in the region. In any case, the groundwater level has been falling steadily in recent years. The reason for this is climate change: the last 5 years have been the hottest since weather records began and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is also warning of new heat records in 2020.
In addition, the Dannenröder forest and the Herrenwald forest, which is partially designated for clearing, are flora-fauna habitats (FFH protection areas) with rare plants and animals. The expansion therefore threatens biodiversity and contributes to the extinction of species.
Our forests are already struggling with climate change anyway. The results of the Forest Condition Survey 2019 prove that the Hessian forest has never been in such a bad condition since the surveys began in 1984. However, mixed forests such as the Dannenröder Forest bind twice as much CO2 as monocultures and are therefore indispensable in the fight against global heating.
For 40 years, citizens’ initiatives have therefore been trying in various ways to prevent the expansion of the A49. Since 1 October 2019 it would have been officially possible to clear cut the forest but activists prevented this by occupying the forest.
Resistance is also coming from tFriends of the Earth Germany (BUND), which is taking legal action against the expansion of the motorway The court date is on Tuesday, 23 June 2020. On this occasion, the people from the Dannenröder forest called for nationwide action days with the motto “natural spaces instead of concrete dreams! Our Frankfurt branch of the Dannenröder Wald was part of it.
The demonstrations were also directed against the Hessian Minister of Transport, Tarek Al-Wazir, and his party, the Greens. Instead of providing effective climate protection and ensuring the preservation of a drinking water protection area, the Greens of Hesse hide behind the coalition agreement with the CDU.
But the last thing we need – in a country with one of the densest road networks – is a new highway. Instead, we urgently need answers to our ecological crisis!
Therefore we need your support! Together with us, ask the responsible construction company (DEGES) to stop the construction immediately! We have formulated the following text for this purpose:
Then click on this link to write a new email with your email program to the responsible persons. There you can insert, modify and send our text template.
Thanks for your help!