Making alder forest look "good" and destruction of wilderness along a road section leading to the administrative and tourist center of the national park, 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; violation of the environmental balance within the protected area, and damaging the biological diversity.

Events, facts, documents and evidences: To get in the administrative and tourist center of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha", one has to drive through the village of Kamenyuki, to cross over the bridge of the River of Pravaya Lesnaya and to move approximately more half-kilometer on an asphalted road's section. A perfect wild alder wood grows in the valley of the river along this road.

1 click to enlarge in the new window 2 click to enlarge in the new window 3click to enlarge in the new window
4 click to enlarge in the new window 5 click to enlarge in the new window 6 click to enlarge in the new window 7 click to enlarge in the new window
(A perfect wild alder wood; 1 Ц September 15, 2009; other photos made on March 31, 2009)
click to enlarge in the new window click to enlarge in the new window
(Tracks of wild animals in the alder wood;
March 31, 2009)

Being in compliance with the Pushcha local tradition of the careful attitude to the wild nature, no any economic activity has been conducted in this patch of the forest as not wanted there, except for extraction of wind-fallen trees after hurricanes from the road or close to it. Therefore, tourists driving on this road could see the wild nature of Belovezhskaya Pushcha just after crossing the river and to admire it.

The situation has radically changed in 2003 after the timber merchants with the scanty ecological knowledge and the primitive understanding in the field of especially protected territories' management came to the leadership in the national park. The intensive forestry maintenance concerning the protected Bialowieza Forest and the maximal intervention into natural processes in Belovezhskaya Pushcha, and the extensive reconstruction of recreational areas in tourist and administrative centers that to create like-urban landscapes of the type similar to city forest parks in these places became a principle ideology of the new administration. The current managers of the national park, because of mass dismissals of the local employees, has succeeded in breaking the Pushcha local tradition of the careful attitude towards the wild nature, in imposing the own forestry ideology and in radical changing the management in the forest sites at the administrative and tourist center. This was described in detail on the page "ќкультуривание дикого леса и превращение его в подобие городского парка в административно-туристическом центре национального парка (2006-2009 гг.)".

As to the alder patch, in 2003 the forest strip along the road was cleaned from the lopsided (inclined) trees. The second cleaning of the forest strip, more powerful that time, was conducted over a few years. "Unaesthetic" trees were the object for cutting down. And finally, in the spring of 2009 in the frame of the preparation for celebration of the 600th anniversary of nature protection in Belovezhskaya Pushcha, the culmination of forestry intervention and nature pseudo-protection was seeing in this earlier wild patch of the forest Ц it was cleaned as intensively as to be turned into a sparse growth of trees and a pity likeness of an urban park. Many trees, especially young ones, were cut down there and all undergrowth was removed.

click to enlarge in the new window click to enlarge in the new window click to enlarge in the new window click to enlarge in the new window
click to enlarge in the new window click to enlarge in the new window click to enlarge in the new window click to enlarge in the new window
click to enlarge in the new window click to enlarge in the new window click to enlarge in the new window click to enlarge in the new window
click to enlarge in the new window click to enlarge in the new window click to enlarge in the new window click to enlarge in the new window
click to enlarge in the new window click to enlarge in the new window click to enlarge in the new window click to enlarge in the new window
click to enlarge in the new window click to enlarge in the new window click to enlarge in the new window click to enlarge in the new window
(Intensive cutting down of living trees in the strip of the alder forest near the road;
March 31, 2009)
click to enlarge in the new window click to enlarge in the new window
(Paring of big branches on trunks of living trees;
March 31, 2009)
click to enlarge in the new window
(Cutting down of the undergrowth; March 31, 2009)
click to enlarge in the new window click to enlarge in the new window click to enlarge in the new window click to enlarge in the new window
(Wood residuals' burning; March 31, 2009)

After the intensive forest cleaning was done and numerous trees and bushes were cut down, the patch of the wild, relic, alder forest near the road was turned into the landscape rather similar to an urban and recreational area like a city forest zone with the with the intensive maintenance.

click to enlarge in the new window click to enlarge in the new window click to enlarge in the new window
(The forest strip near the road turned looking "nice"; March 31, 2009)

In summer the cut down bush and young trees starting again growing because the natural cannot be stop by the management decrees.

click to enlarge in the new window click to enlarge in the new window click to enlarge in the new window click to enlarge in the new window
(Natural regeneration of bushes and trees; September 15, 2009)

Because of this natural process, gas saws and rotor lawnmowers were again used in autumn to trim and to annihilate young trees and the undergrowth.

click to enlarge in the new window click to enlarge in the new window click to enlarge in the new window
(The repeated annihilation of young trees and the undergrowth; November 14, 2009)

The photos below show the today's look of the "beautiful" and "manicured" strip (in opinion of the ecologically illiterate managers of the national park) near the road where the wild nature of the protected alder forest lived earlier.

1 click to enlarge in the new window 2 click to enlarge in the new window 3 click to enlarge in the new window 4 click to enlarge in the new window
5 click to enlarge in the new window 6 click to enlarge in the new window 7 click to enlarge in the new window 8 click to enlarge in the new window
(The forest strip near the road made looking "beautiful";
1, 2 and 3 Ц November 14, 2009; the other photos made on April 4, 2010)

Conclusion. Why became necessary on the eve of celebration of the 600th anniversary of the so-called (and widely advertised) "establishing the strictly protected status" in Belovezhskaya Pushcha (read here about the falsification of this statement) to administer such violence against the wild nature of the alder forest near the road? Apparently, in this way the management of the national park wanted to show all over the world, but especially for the own bosses from Minsk capital, that they are the "assiduous" owners of Belovezhskaya Pushcha, and how they diligently care of "preservation" of the forest and skillfully demonstrate it for the tourists. Alas, all comes inside out! That's because all ecologically competent people, who understand the principles of wilderness protection and are familiar with this matter in the civilized countries, have seen and have witnessed the ecological absurdity achieved within the given area.

This kind of attitude towards the wild nature in the past like described above had easy explanations as a heritage which was passed into our possession from our ancestors who considered the wild nature in the ancient times as an enemy because they had to wage a war against it that to exist and to survival on own. But today, when the century of humanism and education is coming, the attitude like above is to be considered as a vestige of the ancient absurdity and barbarity, and an attribute indicating a lack of the proper education.

As we see the ecological barbarity towards the protected forest of Belovezhskaya Pushcha does not come to the end but is continuing in new forms being covering and being with the connivance from the presidential administration as a top stewardship relative and ruling the national parks in the country.