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The park is managed by the National Institute of Parks (INPARQUES), the government agency in charge of Venezuela's national parks and monuments. The management plan for El Ávila was written by INPARQUES in 1993. It includes definitions of 11 different management zones within the park and regulations for permitted activities. These management zones are defined below.

  • Integral Protection Zone: Includes the areas that require strict protection. Access is restricted to INPARQUES personnel for monitoring and scientists for research. The sub-páramo and cloud forest are included in this category.
  • Primitive and Wilderness Zone: Includes the areas that can tolerate moderate usage. Access is restricted, devoted to authorized activities like scientific research, monitoring and educational activities. Access is granted only under INPARQUES supervision. Hiking, posting educational signs and maintenance of existing trails are also allowed. These areas include all the moist pre-montane forests and dry lower-montane forests.
  • Managed Natural Environment Zone: Includes all areas that were affected by moderate human use before the park was created. Basic infrastructure building, the posting of informational signs, vehicle use and passive recreational activities are permitted. Areas that do not fall under another category are included in this zone.
  • Natural Recovery Zone: Includes all areas used for conservation and restoration of natural resources. The agricultural lands in the Lagunita-Los Naranjos, El Infiernito, La Albareña, La Haciendita, Moscú, Miguelena, El Rosario, Fila del Indio and Naranjal are included in this zone.
  • Recreation Zone: Includes park areas that are favorable for development of low-impact recreation. Infrastructure building is permitted, and the area is open to the public for recreation. The following sectors of El Ávila fall into this category: San Julián River, Cerro Grande River, Uria River, Naiguatá River, Miguelena Creek, Hacienda Las Trincheras, Hacienda Corozal and El Vigía Fort in the northern slope, and Norte-La Churca River, Los Venados and Topo Zamurera in the southern slope. After the disastrous mudslides of 1999 many of the areas on the northern slope no longer exist as recreation areas.
  • Service Zone: Includes INPARQUES infrastructure: 22 ranger posts in the southern slope and 20 former posts on the northern slope, according to the management plan. The buildings of the recreation center at Los Venados and the National Guard structures at Tacagua, Dolores, Puerta de Caracas, Plan de Manzano and Cotiza are also included. After the 1999 musdlides, the posts on the northern slope no longer exist.
  • Historical, Cultural and Paleontological Interest Zone: Includes the areas of Camino de los Españoles, the Casona de Los Venados and 21 historical structures described in the management plan.
  • Special Use Zone: Includes activities incompatible with conservation efforts for the National Park but which predate its creation. These areas are still maintained because they include infrastructure that provides services of social interest, for example: the old Caracas-La Guaira road, television, and telecommunication structures, electric wiring, the cable-car, the Humboldt Hotel, the Pajaritos firefighting camp, the Carenero-Guatire and Catia La Mar-Cantinas pipeline, 14 small dams on the creeks that flow into Caracas, and three small hydroelectric plants in Naiguatá, Curupao and El Encantado.
  • Native Villages: Includes villages that existed before the creation of the park and whose activities are not especially harmful to the park: Galipán, Hoyo de la Cumbre and El Corozo.
  • Buffer Zone: These areas form the perimeter of the park adjacent to the city of Caracas and require regulated use.
  • Environmental Protection and Recuperation Zone: Includes the western and northern areas of the park that are outside Caracas, but have been affected by uncontrolled human encroachment. This zone is regulated under the Special Management Plan, decree No. 2.973 in the Gaceta Oficial No. 35.297, 15/09/1993.

The management plan describes the monitoring activities required to ensure that the regulations mentioned above are enforced. Administration and management programs are described to better harmonize the use of the park with its ongoing protection. These programs cover issues regarding protection, security, infrastructure, environmental quality, research, education, recreation and community involvement.

 

El Ávila has the largest number of employees and most infrastructure development of any Venezuelan park. Forty-three of its 26 rangers work in Caracas and are in charge of monitoring the park. In addition to rangers, there is one superintendent, an environmental education group and administrative personnel at the administrative center Los Venados. In El Ávila there are two information centers, a library, a conference room, an administration building and numerous recreational structures located both in and out of the designated recreational areas.

 

A radio network is in place for communications, and the Pajaritos firefighting camp is the largest and best in the country. Due to the disastrous floods in 1999, only the El Mirador ranger post is still working on the northern side. The few rangers that cover this area are working from their homes.

 

The limits of the park and each of its zones are cartographically defined. Signs are posted in the Recreation Zones and along trails on the southern side where the mountains meet the city; however, signs are almost non-existent elsewhere.

 

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