Events, facts, documents and evidence: One of the main tasks and foreground purposes of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" is the ecological tourism and the ecological education. They are called ecological because it means the work with people on raising their ecological education and consciousness. It is clear that the ecological education in Belovezhskaya Pushcha should be based on science dealing with wilderness protection and on last achievements in the modern ecology and nature protection. Besides, Belovezhskaya Pushcha itself (the Bialowieza Primeval Forest) should serve a model to the tourists in order that to teach them how, by what rules and in what direction one should work to preserve a unique wild nature on the planet Earth.
That's the theory. Alas, the practice is looking rather different. It was already shown earlier by using numerous facts that the ecological tourism and education in the national park meet neither criteria of wilderness protection, nor modern standards and requirements of the ecological science and are frequently transformed simply into profanity. The tourists personally see almost nothing of the wild nature of Belovezhskaya Pushcha as they are shown a large area on which forestry and other economic activities are conducted. Even many pedestrian tourist paths and routes are specially managed in the way that to remove the wild strictly protected nature there as much as possible. The forest is specially cleared from dead wood, is getting an urban shape and is appearing no wild and primordial for the tourists but more similar to a city's park. Accordingly, the tourists do not learn how to preserve the wild nature but how to destroy it (?).
All above specified problems are also characteristic for an ecological route on which the most famous giant trees of Belovezhskaya Pushcha - so-called a king-oak (of the age more than 550 years) and a king-pine (of the age more than 350 years) - grow. It was earlier described about discrepancy in ecological standards at this route on the page "Tourist complex and the destruction of ancient traditions of Belovezhskaya Pushcha, 2001 - 2003".
By now something has been changed there but only regarding the design of this tourist route. From the ecological point of view almost all other things remain to be as before.
The shots below show the giant oak and pine trees.
|(A giant oak tree, compartment 680, April 22, 2007)|
|(A shield with appeal do not destroy this oak tree, compartment 680, April 22, 2007)|
|(Forest-adapted table and chairs, compartment 680, April 22, 2007)|
|(A giant pine tree, compartment 680, April 22, 2007)|
5 to 7 years ago the area around the giants was cleaned from dead staying trees which could be dangerous for tourists. However, the culture on conduction of the felling on areas close to tourist routes was very bad.
Huge stumps remained of spruces in the age class of 150 to 180 years around the giant oak. Apparently the management had not considered it wise to cut the trees at the ground level, in which way the interrogation in the forest ecosystem would not have been so apparent for tourists - the impression of a unique, preserved forest would have been kept much better. Close to these stumps heaps of wood-cut remnants were burned. Because of that large black stains appeared on the burned ground, while a lot of wood did not burn. It would have been much better to cover the stains with soil, but nobody thought of that idea.
|(Stumps around the giant oak, compartment 680, 31.05.2003 ã.)|
After years the appearance of the surrounding area has been changed a little. Huge stumps still "meet" the visitors and create an unattractive environment. Tourists who come to see our giant oak nowadays cannot be impressed deeply anymore, since their contact with majestic, primeval nature is annoyed by unpleasant feelings caused by the view on stumps and logs which are visible everywhere, and no truly virgin nature.
|(Tourists examine and photograph stumps around the giant oak,
compartment 680, April 22, 2007)
|(Stumps around the giant oak, compartment 680, April 22, 2007)|