Clear cuttings and dead wood cleaning along tourist routes, 2005 - 2009

Violations: Articles 26 and 27 of Belarus' Specially Protected Wilderness Territories and Sites Act, Article 55 and 63 of the Forest Code of the Republic of Belarus; the environmental balance within the protected forest, and damaging the biological diversity.

Events, facts, documents and evidence: The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" makes much efforts to develop the tourism for the masses. To show the strictly protected Belovezhskaya Pushcha, the relic forest, sights and the beauty of the wild nature for tourists, the park's staff serves them with excursions in buses travelling along tourist routes conterminous to the basic roads inside of Belovezhskaya Pushcha. To get acquaintance in very details with the nature, flora and fauna, model pedestrian and bicycle routes have been developed. For sure, that all is wonderful!

However, the contents what the guides tell and show at some model pedestrian routes does not meet the reality which the tourists see out of the bus window when travelling in Belovezhskaya Pushcha! So, instead of the perfect primeval and relic forest and instead of the wild and strictly preserved nature, the tourists are "accompanied" with cutting areas and stumps over almost all distance of the bus route. It turns out that the tourists do not see the truly primordial Belovezhskaya Pushcha and the wild primeval forest for the most part of the routes but only hear about them like about some theory. This state of affairs, certainly, is not in compliance with the ecological education as one of the basic tasks for the national park. Moreover, it often compromises the nature protection activity of the national park and misleads the outsiders by giving them the wrong knowledge.

Photos below show clear cuttings and "stump" landscapes which tourists see over tens of kilometers of the bus routes both in the outskirts and in the core of Belovezhskaya Pushcha.

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(Clear cuttings along tourist routes; 1 and 2 compartment 614, August 12, 2006;
3 - compartment 554, July 23, 2005; 4 compartment 806, November 3, 2005)
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(Clear cuttings along tourist routes;
5 - compartment 708; 6 compartment 683, 7 compartment 712, April 22, 2007)

In the Polish part of the Bialowieza Forest, dead wood is not removed already within over ten years along the central road with intensive car traffic which connects the Bialowieza village (an administrative centre of the Polish Bialowieza National Park) and the district town of Hajnowka. That's in spite of the fact that this area is not in possession of the national park but is the part of the Bialowieza Forest Promotion Complex (some sort of a timber enterprise but with stricter ecological rules for the forest management). Due to this the shape of the wild, primeval and strictly preserved forest is saved along the roads.
In the Belarusian part of the Bialowieza Forest, clear cuttings of dead trees and very intensive cleaning of waysides of the relic forest that to remove felling residuals and dead wood are conducted along tourist routes even within the territory of the national park.

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(Cleaning tourist routes from the dead wood,
compartment 801, November 30, 2008)

As a result, stumps and cutting areas, but not the strictly protected nature and the wild primeval forest, become the main subject to obviously advertise the economic activity and quasi-wilderness protection in Belovezhskaya Pushcha for the tourists visiting this famous woodland.