Formed in 1986 around 37 villages, the Haut-Jura Regional Natural Park today has 118 member villages. Situated halfway up the mountains, this is a lively, populated area. The Maison du Parc at Lajoux gathers information about and focuses on the spirit of the park.
A Regional Natural Park (PNR) describes a populated rural territory that has been nationally recognised for its important yet fragile heritage and landscapes. A PNR is a collaborative project based on sustainable development, supported by a Charter. The project is based on protecting and valuing its heritage. There are 48 PNRs in France.
Created in 1986 with 37 villages, the Haut Jura Regional Natural Park today contains 118 villages: 24 in the Ain, 20 in the Doubs and 74 in the Jura. This includes the member villages and the seven gateway towns (Pontarlier, Champagnole, Gex, Ferney–Voltaire, Divonne, Bellegarde-sur-Valserine and Oyonnax). The Haut-Jura Regional Natural Park covers 1,780 km2 and has a population of 82,000 inhabitants, not including the gateway towns.
The Maison du Parc in Lajoux is a real focal-point of the Jura Mountains, located in the heart of the Hautes-Combes and open to visit. It features permanent and temporary exhibitions, events, and a resource centre and even opens the doors to an authentic granary, an essential part of Haut-Jura’s architectural heritage.
Green and Pleasant Land
The Haut-Jura is a mid-mountain area, which means it can be, and is, inhabited. The population here is scattered, even though the villages and hamlets that line the roads confirm that the reserve is a real place to live and work. Nevertheless, in 80% of villages in the Reserve, there are fewer than 46 inhabitants per km2 (the reserve average). Without a doubt, this rural quality shapes the life of the people who live and come on holiday here.
Nature is always present and encourages those who work in the park to keep up their good work on a daily basis. Landscape, energy management, economy, agriculture, traffic and tourism – here, everything is considered in terms of “green” policymaking and is managed with care.