The Israel Electric Corporation supports the construction of an overhead power line that will cross the Hula Valley on its way to the Golan Heights, where it is supposed to connect up to wind farms not yet in existence whose construction will perhaps never be approved. KKL-JNF, the Nature and Parks Authority and the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel warn that overhead power lines constitute a grave danger both for the local birdlife and for the Hula Valley’s huge environmental tourism project. Because of this, the three organizations have united behind the slogan “Birds in the sky, electricity in the ground,” to call for the power line to be buried underground.
“The Hula Valley is a site of major international importance to over a million wildfowl every year, including storks, cranes, raptors and songbirds,” the opponents of the overhead power line explain. “Over one million people come to visit the Hula Valley, which is a shining example of a national and international enterprise that benefits both nature and humankind.”
The Hula Valley is renowned throughout the world, and it is one of Israel’s most popular tourist venues. Around a million birds pass through the site every year. In spring and autumn over one hundred thousand cranes, some fifty thousand pelicans (the entire great white pelican population that nests in Europe and Asia Minor), some three hundred thousand white storks and thousands of black storks (a relatively rare species whose population worldwide is numbered only in the tens of thousands) all pass through the Hula Valley. In addition, tens of thousands of ducks remain over winter at the lake, among them rare species such as the marbled duck – which also nests locally – and a variety of heron species, including hundreds of specimens of the comparatively rare great egret.