Stopping a vicious practice of autumn lives burning in the administrative and tourist center of the national park, 2006 - 2009

Events, facts, documents and evidences: It was described earlier on the pages "Making forest look "good" or disappearance of rare plants" и "National Park shows its anti-ecological ways to tourists" that the administration of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" by the example of destruction of the wilderness in the administrative and tourist center demonstrates for the world a lack of the elementary ecological culture and primary knowledge of the friendly-ecological management. In particular, it was shown that in the autumn of 2004 all leaves have been raking from the "trimmed" wood area (cleaned from shrubs and young trees). As a result, tourists were left to see nothing but bare land. Then leaves were heaped and burned on the same spot.

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(Empty ground on the spot being earlier half natural, near the hotel number 3;
December 5, 2004)

Moreover, heaps of leaves were burned close to the central road and tourist paths where tourists usually walk. The result was of two kinds Ц a harm to the environment (humus burning-out in the soil, annihilation of millions of useful insects, arachnids, worms and other small animals, toxic substances' pollution in the atmosphere, a loss of the protective "blanket"-layer by the living ground for the winter period etc.) was done and the area ecologically unaesthetic for tourists was made. One can see what kind of the anti-ecological example was demonstrating for visitors of Belovezhskaya Pushcha in this way, first of all for the young generation who needs the ecological education in the right way.

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(The awful aesthetic and ecological view after heaps of leaves' burning, December 5, 2004)
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(Black stains of the scorched ground and tourists (1), horses harnessed into carriage (2), the car
of the director of the national park, as parking beside the hotel number 1 (3),
December 26, 2004)

The absolutely anti-ecological practice like this, despite criticism by ecologists, lasted over some years that once again testifies to almost insuperable personal mental difficulties and serious problems regarding perception and understanding of principles of the ecological management by the managers of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha".

The picture below shows the plot of ground burned during many years which does not get covered by green vegetation even in the summer.

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(A stain on the burned ground; July 11, 2005)

Only recently the voice of sense has reached the mind of the managers of Belovezhskaya Pushcha and the vicious practice of leaves burning like above shown was stopped. Instead of it the quite reasonable practice on removing leaves outside of the tourist center was introduced as it existed earlier. Moreover, today these are not all places where leaves are raked but only close to the road and footpaths. Leaves are left inside of some fenced plots not only for winter but also for summer. That gives a positive ecological effect for the soil-forming process and for life of countless numbers of small invertebrate animals dwelling in it. Under such approach and with a proper wish, a few steps remain to be developing that to introduce the system of leaving leaves and the letter untouched on the spot within the area of the administrative and tourist center which could be near ideal. Such system is in compliance with the modern standards of biodiversity conservation and the sustainable ecological management.

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(Leaves close to the road removed in 2008; March 8, 2008)
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(Leaves close to the road removed in the spring of 2009; May 3, 2009)
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(Leaves close to the road removed and removing in the autumn of 2009;
1 Ц September 27, 2009; 2, 3 and 4 Ц November 14, 2009)
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(Leaves close to the road removed in the spring of 2010; April 4, 2010)
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(Leaves prepared for removing within a fenced plot; May 3, 2009)
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(Leaves left and partly removed within a fenced plot;
1 Ц March 8, 2008; 2 Ц May 3, 2009; 3 Ц November 14, 2009; 4, 5 and 6 Ц April 4, 2010)

So, the given example shows that the administration of the national park, although slowly, with difficulties and setbacks at every step but is capable to modify their negative and anti-ecological management in relation to the nature and the protected forest of Belovezhskaya Pushcha into the normal and positive one. However, it still covers only some issues. And before is to happen, the living nature should suffer much as being waiting for the time when the sense at last comes to minds of some chiefs, managers and "experts".