Pilat Regional Natural Park
Pilat Regional Natural Park is a protected area of mountainous countryside in the Rhône-Alpes region of southeastern France. The park spans the departments of Loire and Rhône, covers a total area of 65,000 hectares; the mountain terrain ranges from 140 metres to 1,432 metres in elevation. Forty-seven communes dot the landscape, with fifty thousand residents; the land was designated a regional natural park in 1974. The park includes 47 member communes: List of regional natural parks of France Official park website
Vercors Regional Natural Park
The Vercors Regional Natural Park is a protected area of forested mountains in the Rhône-Alpes region of southeastern France. Set upon a limestone plateau south of Grenoble, the park extends into the French Western Alps, it spans two departments, Drôme and Isère, covers a total area of 135,000 hectares. The plateau's main elevation reaches 1,000 metres while the eastern Alpine mountain ridge tops 2,300 metres with Le Grand Veymont; the Vercors area is peppered with caves. During World War II, it served as a safe and defensible position for the French Resistance: Forteresse de la Résistance; the area now contains around three hundred monuments to the Resistance, including a memorial center and the preserved remains of a destroyed village. In modern times, Vercors has become a popular tourist destination frequented for skiing and spelunking. Several small communes dot the landscape, supported principally by forestry and tourism; the area was designated a regional natural park in 1970. The Vercors parklands include the following communes: List of regional natural parks of France Maquis du Vercors Official park website
Montagne de Reims Regional Natural Park
Montagne de Reims Regional Natural Park is a protected area in the Grand Est region of France. It is organized around the Montagne de Reims, a wooded range of hills covered by vineyards that produce the region's eponymous sparkling wine, Champagne; the area was designated as a regional natural park in 1976 with a total land area of 50,000 hectares. As of 2012, the following communes are park members: List of regional natural parks of France
Parc naturel régional du Haut-Jura
The parc naturel régional du Haut-Jura is a French regional natural park located in the southwest of the Jura Mountain Range in France, on the French-Swiss border. The park was created February 10, 1986, at that time comprised 37 towns; as of 2005, that count is now 113 towns, with a total population of 71,000 inhabitants. The park covers an area of 165,000 hectares across three French departments: Ain and Jura. Entry towns situated at the park boundaries are not part of the park themselves, but due to their geographic locations are important points of entry into the park; these towns are Divonne-les-Bains, Bellegarde-sur-Valserine and the Community of Communes of Oyonnax. The park is managed by a bureau composed of a president, nine vice presidents, twelve members, it is not managed according to geographic entities but rather according to five thematic ones: helping to preserve the natural environment and the biotopes through sustainable development. There are 105 towns, or communes, that are members of the regional park, of which 25 are in Ain, 12 are in Doubs and 67 are in the Department of Jura.
There are 5 associated communes, one in Doubs and 4 in Jura. The 4 communes that remain in the total count are three entry towns that have part of the town in the park (Divonne-les-Bains and Bellegarde-sur-Valserine, the town of Champagnole, an entry town, but is outside of the park; the park is featured in numerous publications such as guidebooks, photographic portfolios, educational and scientific documents. The content of these publications is diverse and can be divided into 7 categories: Craft industry, folk know-how, housing Coffee table books Cultural heritage collections The environment Games and education Photographic portfolios Hiking and discovery Parc naturel régional du Haut-Jura official site
Orient Forest Regional Natural Park
Orient Forest Regional Natural Park is a protected area of woodlands and lakes in the Champagne-Ardenne region of France. It covers a total area of 70,000 hectares The parkland encompasses the large Forest of Orient as well as three man-made lakes: Lac d'Orient, Lac du Temple, Lac Amance; the area was designated as a regional natural park in 1970. The park includes the following member communes: Amance • Argançon • Assencières Blaincourt-sur-Aube • Bossancourt • Bouranton • Brévonnes • Briel-sur-Barse • Brienne-la-Vieille • Brienne-le-Château Champ-sur-Barse • Chauffour-lès-Bailly • Courteranges Dienville • Dolancourt • Dosches Épagne Géraudot Jessains • Juvanzé Lassicourt • Laubressel • Lesmont • La Loge-aux-Chèvres • Lusigny-sur-Barse • Luyères Magny-Fouchard • Maison-des-Champs • Maizières-lès-Brienne • Mathaux • Mesnil-Saint-Père • Mesnil-Sellières • Molins-sur-Aube • Montiéramey • Montreuil-sur-Barse Onjon Pel-et-Der • Piney • Précy-Notre-Dame • Précy-Saint-Martin • Puits-et-Nuisement Radonvilliers • Rosnay-l'Hôpital • La Rothière • Rouilly-Sacey Saint-Christophe-Dodinicourt • Saint-Léger-sous-Brienne Thennelières • Trannes Unienville Val-d'Auzon • Vauchonvilliers • Vendeuvre-sur-Barse • Villemoyenne The three man-made lakes offer sport and leisure activities for visitors.
The largest lake, Lac d'Orient, covers 2,500 hectares and includes two marinas and three sand beaches. List of regional natural parks of France Official park website Official park website
Parc naturel régional de la Brenne
The Parc natural régional de la Brenne is an 1,672 km2 large Parc naturel régional located in the Indre département of France. It was founded December 22, 1982. Of old, La Brenne was a region in the old French provinces of Berry and Touraine, west of Châteauroux and east of Tournon-Saint-Martin; the park is cut in two by the Creuse River. Through the southern half flows the Anglin River; the southern part of the regional park is not part of La Brenne. This part is called La petite Brenne, it was part of the Boischaut region. Like in all French national and regional parks, there still are people living in the park; the park has 47 communes. Obterre - Azay-le-Ferron - Paulnay - Saulnay - Lureuil - Néons-sur-Creuse - Tournon-Saint-Martin - Lurais - Preuilly-la-Ville - Pouligny-Saint-Pierre - Fontgombault - Sauzelles - Saint-Aigny - Le Blanc - Douadic - Mérigny - Ingrandes - Concremiers - Mauvières - Saint-Hilaire-sur-Benaize - Bélâbre - Chalais - Lignac - Tilly - Prissac - Sacierges-Saint-Martin - Chazelet - Luzeret - Thenay - Saint-Gaultier - Rivarennes - Chitray - Oulches - Ciron - Ruffec - Rosnay - Saint-Michel-en-Brenne - Mézières-en-Brenne - Sainte-Gemme - Vendœuvres - Migné - Méobecq - Nuret-le-Ferron - Neuillay-les-Bois - Luant - La Pérouille- Martizay
Communes of France
The commune is a level of administrative division in the French Republic. French communes are analogous to civil townships and incorporated municipalities in the United States and Canada, Gemeinden in Germany, comuni in Italy or ayuntamiento in Spain; the United Kingdom has no exact equivalent, as communes resemble districts in urban areas, but are closer to parishes in rural areas where districts are much larger. Communes are based on historical geographic communities or villages and are vested with significant powers to manage the populations and land of the geographic area covered; the communes are the fourth-level administrative divisions of France. Communes vary in size and area, from large sprawling cities with millions of inhabitants like Paris, to small hamlets with only a handful of inhabitants. Communes are based on pre-existing villages and facilitate local governance. All communes have names, but not all named geographic areas or groups of people residing together are communes, the difference residing in the lack of administrative powers.
Except for the municipal arrondissements of its largest cities, the communes are the lowest level of administrative division in France and are governed by elected officials with extensive autonomous powers to implement national policy. A commune is city, or other municipality. "Commune" in English has a historical bias, implies an association with socialist political movements or philosophies, collectivist lifestyles, or particular history. There is nothing intrinsically different between commune in French; the French word commune appeared in the 12th century, from Medieval Latin communia, for a large gathering of people sharing a common life. As of January 2015, there were 36,681 communes in France, 36,552 of them in metropolitan France and 129 of them overseas; this is a higher total than that of any other European country, because French communes still reflect the division of France into villages or parishes at the time of the French Revolution. The whole territory of the French Republic is divided into communes.
This is unlike some other countries, such as the United States, where unincorporated areas directly governed by a county or a higher authority can be found. There are only a few exceptions: COM of Saint-Martin, it was a commune inside the Guadeloupe région. The commune structure was abolished when Saint-Martin became an overseas collectivity on 22 February 2007. COM of Wallis and Futuna, which still is divided according to the three traditional chiefdoms. COM of Saint Barthélemy, it was a commune inside the Guadeloupe region. The commune structure was abolished when Saint-Barthélemy became an overseas collectivity on 22 February 2007. Furthermore, two regions without permanent habitation have no communes: TOM of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands Clipperton Island in the Pacific Ocean In metropolitan France, the average area of a commune in 2004 was 14.88 square kilometres. The median area of metropolitan France's communes at the 1999 census was smaller, at 10.73 square kilometres. The median area is a better measure of the area of a typical French commune.
This median area is smaller than that of most European countries. In Italy, the median area of communes is 22 km2. Switzerland and the Länder of Rhineland-Palatinate, Schleswig-Holstein, Thuringia in Germany were the only places in Europe where the communes had a smaller median area than in France; the communes of France's overseas départements such as Réunion and French Guiana are large by French standards. They group into the same commune several villages or towns with sizeable distances among them. In Réunion, demographic expansion and sprawling urbanization have resulted in the administrative splitting of some communes; the median population of metropolitan France's communes at the 1999 census was 380 inhabitants. Again this is a small number, here France stands apart in Europe, with the lowest communes' median population of all the European countries; this small median population of French communes can be compared with Italy, where the median population of communes in 2001 was 2,343 inhabitants, Belgium, or Spain.
The median population given here should not hide the fact that there are pronounced differences in size between French communes. As mentioned in the introduction, a commune can be a city of 2 million inhabitants such as Paris, a town of 10,000 inhabitants, or just a hamlet of 10 inhabitants. What the median population tells us is that the vast majority of the French communes only have a few hundred inhabitants. In metropolitan France just over 50 percent of the 36,683 communes have fewer than 500 inhabitants a