"Parzonería" is a local term specific to the territories of Gipuzkoa and Alava that refers to intermunicipal housing estates, groups of villages that participate in the ownership and enjoyment of shared lands.
Like other parzonerías, Entzia is an administrative community dating back to time immemorial. It is made up of the municipalities of Salvatierra/Agurain, Asparrena and San Millán, and the six villages that make up the Parzonería de Entzia-Arriba: San Vicente de Arana, Kontrasta, Alda, Ullibarri-Arana (municipality of Valle de Arana), Onraita and Róitegu i (municipality of Arraia-Maeztu).
The Parzonería de Entzia is the owner of the public utility mountain 609 in the Sierra de Entzia, with an area of 3,284 hectares, of which almost three quarters is wooded (mainly beech) and the rest is pasture. Originally, the whole mountain was used in a communal way, so that any neighbor (parzonero/a) could use its resources (trees, pastures, water, etc.). However, as a consequence of disentailment tendencies in the 19th century, in 1860, the trees were divided up and awarded to the different entities that made up the Parzonería, the distribution being as follows: 2/8 for Salvatierra, 3/8 for the Brotherhood of San Millán and Asparrena, (which later, upon being constituted as municipalities, in turn divided it to 50%) and 3/8 for all the six villages. On the contrary, other uses (pasture, water, hunting, grazing, roads, slums, leisure, etc ...) remained joint ventures. That is to say, they separated the property from the trees, which was allocated to each of the entities, and the land, which was kept in the hands of the community.
This means that each entity manages its trees independently, bearing the costs and benefiting from the income derived from the use of its forest. It should be pointed out that the six villages that make up the Parzonería de Entzia-Arriba have not divided the trees that were awarded to them, but rather they maintain them jointly. They carry out joint operations and the income is managed in their Parzonería (Entzia-Arriba).
Grass, unlike trees, is common and any authorised person (aparzonero/a) has, in principle, the right to enjoy it. The Parzonería has about 620 hectares of grass where the grass grows. In addition, there are some wooded areas that can be used for grazing. This area provides feed to 37 farms, with a total of 1,123 LU, of which 26% are horses, 28% sheep and 46% cattle. This represents more than 37 jobs, since several farms are companies or communities of estates. Grazing is undoubtedly a valuable resource for these villages where livestock farming is a very important economic activity. But the forest is not just an economic resource. Its more than 3,000 hectares have an incalculable environmental value. Its conservation has been possible thanks to the fact that the Parzoneros have been able to make rational use of this mountain, guaranteeing the conservation of ecosystems that currently deserve to be classified as a Place of Community Interest and consequently subject to corresponding environmental protection regulations.
The Parzonería is made up of all the people who live and are domiciled in any of the municipalities or towns that compose it. All of them have the right, in principle, to the use of the resources coming from the mountain. However, the right to benefits is linked not to residents or to individual residents, but to the firewood unit (a group of people who permanently live in the same house), who must also fulfill all the requirements in each case. Thus, in order to access the pastures, in addition to having the status of parzonero/a neighbor, other requirements are required, such as to dedicate oneself to livestock farming, to work one's own land, to be registered in the census with a minimum age of one year, to be up to date with the payment of the fees and sidewalks, to be registered in the Livestock Exploitation Registers of the Provincial Council. One must have their farm located in the locality of which they are resident, comply with the requirements of the provincial regulations on health control, and have obtained authorisation from the assembly for the use of pastures.
As the flight of the soil is different, each entity, and not the Parzonería, manages its own woodland, although all forestry activities and uses are subject to prior authorisation from the Álava Provincial Council in accordance with the provisions of the Forestry Provincial Law. Thus, the Provincial Council, at owner's requests, approves the annual Development Plan and also exerts control over it. With regard to the extraction of wood or firewood, the designation of the trees to be felled is made by the representatives of each entity on its property, according to its technical determinations and under the supervision of the guards of the Provincial Council. The income and expenses derived from operations on the trees are received and borne by the corresponding owner. Every parzonero/a resident has the right to claim the lots of firewood or bonfires which are extracted as their property is divided from the wooded area of the municipality to the firewood unit to which they belong. All other uses of the forest are jointly managed. There is no doubt that this differentiation in the management of uses, some joint others private, is a source of conflict, particularly when it comes to combining the use of forest and pasture land. This is why for some years the Parzonería has been looking for a formula for joint management of the woodland, which, without prejudice to the rights of the entities, would facilitate the integral management of all the resources generated in the entire space that makes up the Parzonería de Entzia.
- Local institution