In 1987, with a decree of the President of the Sicilian Region, the regional nature park of Etna was set up with an area of about 50,000 ha. The towns which this park includes are all situated in the Province of Catania and they are: Adrano, Belpasso, Biancavilla, Bronte, Castiglione di Sicilia, Giarre, Linguaglossa, Maletto, Maniace, Milo, Nicolosi, Pedara, Piedimonte Etneo, S. Alfio, S. Maria di Licodia, Ragalna, Randazzo, Trecastagni, Viagrande, Zafferana. The Nature Park is divided into four zones A – B – C – D, having different restrictive regulations.
ZONE A: Natural reserve zone, where the environment must remain intact. In this zone it is allowed, according to very precise regulations, to graze animals, to cut trees, to carry out scientific research, to make excursions, to do downhill and cross-country skiing, to pick mushrooms, while the access with motor vehicles is allowed only on the existent tracks.
ZONE B: Zone of general reserve, where agricultural, forestry and animal activities are permitted, but according to the preservation of the natural environments and the landscape.
ZONE C: Protected zone, where transformation of buildings and land is allowed only when it aims at improving the amenities of the Park (parking areas, touristic and cultural centers, picnic and games areas) and at maintaining the already existent touristic and sports facilities.
ZONE D: Controlled zone, where all activities are allowed under limited supervision.