Renovation of Kamenets-Kamenyuki road and tree felling, 2008-2009

The program of preparations for the 600th anniversary of Belovezhskaya Pushcha protection's status provided for improving the condition of access roads to the national park, in particular, an overhaul of Route P-83 which links Brest, Kamenets and Belovezhskaya Pushcha. The overhaul of the Kamenets-Kamenyuki section kicked off in the spring of 2008. The section is some 20 kilometers long, spanning 15 kilometers from Kamenets to the village of Dmitrovichi and 5 kilometers from Dmitrovichi to Kamenyuki.

This is one of the most beautiful roads in Brest region. Two straight lines of trees stretch along both sides of the roadway: poplars, birches, acacias, pines, ash-leaved maples, and a few apple trees. Behind those lines are thick plantations of spruces, willows and various shrubs forming a dense green wall that protects the road from wind. Add to that a multitude of flowers, cereal plants and herbs, butterflies and birds, and you get beautiful natural scenery and a natural ecosystem. Traveling that road is pure pleasure.

Unfortunately, the renovation effort in 2008 seriously modified that ecosystem. On July 19, 2008, a logging crew began to fell the poplars along the Kamenets-Dmitrovichi section of the road. Judging by the road signs installed, all of the trees along the road would be sawed down. The road to Belovezhskaya Pushcha was losing some of its beauty and charm.


May 2008

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(The entrance to Belovezhskaya Pushcha with a mushroom sculpture, which, too, was removed, taking away one more bit of the park’s cultural heritage, May 2008)
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(The road to Belovezhskaya Pushcha and a plan of the national park, May 2008)
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(A living fence: the trees and shrubs along the Kamenets-Dmitrovichi section of the road to Belovezhskaya Pushcha. These are the trees that were cut down, May 2008)
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(The Sarovo bus stop in the section of road to Belovezhskaya Pushcha, May 2008)
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(The entrance to the village of Dmitrovichi, May 2008)
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(Road construction workers rebuilding the road to Belovezhskaya Pushcha, May 2008)
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(The poplar alley cut down in the spring of 2008 in the village of Dmitrovichi located on the way to Belovezhskaya Pushcha)

Poplar cutting, summer 2008

Full-scale felling of the poplars along the road began in the June of 2008.

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(A road sign that reads, "Tree Felling", July 22, 2008)
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(The first poplars sawed away along the road and the stumps left by the cutting, July 22, 2008)

Belovezhskaya Pushcha protection activists immediately drew public attention to the accident and held talks with the leaders of the district environmental inspectorate and road construction officers. Unfortunately, arguments for the poplar felling proved weightier than arguments against it. You can read about this in detail on this page in Live Journal. Never the less, the management of the road construction service agreed to meet the environmentalists halfway by saving some of the poplars that grew further from the roadway and in the sections adjacent to populated areas.

The shots below show poplars felled and still standing in the August of 2008.

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(Poplars felled and still standing, August 2, 2008)

Road renovation, 2009

The widening and asphalting of the road, begun in 2008, was continued in 2009. The section between the village of Dmitrovichi and the village of Kamenyuki in the national park received new asphalt roadway.

The shots below show the various sections of the Kamenets-Kamenyuki road after the renovation effort was completed in the fall of 2009. This road is now up to European road construction standards.

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(The renovated Kamenets-Dmitrovichi section of the road, September 27, 2009)
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(The renovated Dmitrovichi-Kamenyuki section of the road, September 27, 2009)