NEWS ARCHIVE: FEBRUARY 2007

February 28, 2007 "Respublika" (The Republic) newspaper, No 279 New settlers from Pushcha

THE TOWN OF OSTROVETS. Three tens of red deer have been settled in this district. A local forest enterprise has bought the rare animal within the framework of a state program on development of the hunting economy.

Grigoriy Dolgiy, director of the forest timber enterprise, told to the "Republic" that the Ministry of Forestry of Belarus allocated means for purchase and construction of a special enclosure covering the area of 70 hectares and serving initial accommodation of the animals. The new settlers which arrived from Belovezhskaya Pushcha have already been placed in a forest not far off the district center where coniferous and deciduous trees grow, a grassy meadow is available and feeding-troughs are arranged. The huntsman Stanislav Pashkevich is engaged in serving and feeding the deer.

Within the fenced forest area the red deer will live approximately one and a half of years in order to get acclimatizing in the new place. All forest landscapes will then become open for them. It is expected in the forest enterprise that the animals will get accustomed on the Ostrovets's land. In the forests of the district, by the way, there are few red deer which were settled in the territory of Lithuania as long ago as the Soviet times and has got over through the border. In Belarus these animals basically live in Belovezhskaya Pushcha, Nalibokskaya Pushcha and Berezinski Reserve.

Liliya NOVITSKAYA
February 27, 2007 Website "TUT.BY" The forest areas of the Vitebsk region to become a new habitat for 60 deer from Belovezhskaya Pushcha

Nikolai Bambiza, director general of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" informed a BelTA's reporter that 30 animals are planned to move to Lepelsky forest enterprise plus the same number to deliver to the Ostrovetzkiy forest enterprise.

According to Nikolai Bambiza, a part of noble animals has already being caught and has being sent to the new habitats. Some of the deer are kept in order to pass through the necessary veterinary quarantine in special enclosures of the National Park.

Last years the number of wild ungulates is some more than the optimum in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. The National Park therefore resettles the inhabitants to other places from time to time. So, within the recent years bison and deer were moved to the Beresinski, Narochanski and Pripyatski reserves of Belarus, and to the reserve of the Oryol province of Russian Federation. Owing to these measures the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" achieves to reduce the density of the ungulates that contributes not only to optimizing the number of these animals but also to solving the issues connected with natural forest regeneration.

BelTA Information Agency
February 26, 2007 Website "TUT.BY" A lynx was killed yesterday in the Rossonsky district

A lynx was killed yesterday in the Rossonsky district. Frants Vorslo, senior-engineer on hunting management of the local forest enterprise, predicted a month ago by commenting a sanction of the Ministry of Nature Protection for shooting fifteen wild cats. There will be uneasily doing it, he said. It has come to right. A yesterday's lynx was shooting first for few months of hunting. It's incredibly difficult to find this cunning animal.

While the hunters are tracing lynxes in Rossonsky and Pruzhansky districts, the others are waiting for official beginning of "the man's season" which will start in early March with a hunt for migrating goose. Many guess in this so-called off-seasonal pause what a new rules' project which is now under development will bring?

Assurance comes from the State Inspection of Protection of Fauna and Flora at the President that indulgence will be made for fair fans of hunting.

We offer to increase the number of days for hunting from three to four a week – on Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, Vladimir Zubko, head of the Department of the State Inspection tells. We also plan to prolong a winter hunting season to the end of January. The rules are not accepted yet and I, therefore, cannot assert that these and other changes will be approved.

It is quite possible that an item permitting the hunters to check documents of each other will appear in the rules. The experts are certain of the poachers in this case to become less.

However, Vladimir Zubko considers that it is impossible to prepare the project which would suit absolutely everyone. This is probably why there is yet no wish by the Belarusian Society of Hunters and Fishermen to comment future changes - "We shall see what we shall see. As to checking the documents, this is a normal professional etiquette. A conscious hunter will surely ask a stranger who he is and from where".

BelaPAN Information Agency
February 24, 2007 "Naviny Kamyanechchyny" (The Kamenetz’s News) Newspaper, No 22 A word about strictly protected nature

On the 16th of February the presentation of the book "Will Belovezhskaya Pushcha become a true World Heritage Site?" by Heorhi Kazulka, Ph.D of Biology, was taken place in the Kamenetz district centre. An intrigue is in the name itself. It’s known that Pushcha was granted a status of World Heritage Site in 1991. However, the author of the book which was published in Warsaw with the WWF Poland's support within the framework of the Belovezhskaya Pushcha – 21st Century’s Project considers that the Pushcha's strictly protected zone should be enlarged from 2,500 to 50,000 hectares.

Heorhi Kazulka has told about the history of how this book (by the way, the book contains a few amount of the text, the author's illustrations take more space there) has been created. He has demonstrated slides with wilderness-reserved areas on our planet including Belovezhskaya Pushcha. The scientists and forest managers are far from being all to consider that the management to keep the wilderness untouched is a right way for preservation of Pushcha because the century-old trees, especially spruce ones, are freely attacked by bark beetles, while the fallen and tumbled down trees hinder access of engineering in case of wood fires.

February 21, 2007

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The note of the BP-21 Century website’s editor and the book’s author

Certainly, I am grateful that the Naviny Kamyanechchyny state district newspaper has given a space on the pages for the news about the presentation of my book. However, I have to pay attention to the fact that even this purely informational message was ended by the editorial team with the statement in favour of destruction of wild nature of Belovezhskaya Pushcha, referring to any scientists and forest managers. It is well known in Belovezhskaya Pushcha who those scientists and forest managers are (or to be more exact, the pseudo-scientists lured and suborned by the administration of the National Park and the similar forest managers with backward thinking style close to forest enterprise approach). Everything is clear regarding them. No any books can help them because of obvious moral degradation (plus intellectual one for some of them because of old age).

Here another is important. The governmental journalists, also being "lured" and sifted through ideological sieve, apparently, because of communicating only with such the pseudo scientists and pseudo experts on forest ecology and being deep in permanent "curve" information field, also get become zombies and psychological victims because of the present state system. Therefore, they do not realise either what they are writing. For example, the phrase "the management to keep the wilderness untouched isn’t a right way for preservation of Pushcha" is senseless and wrong as a principle. Pushcha means a wild forest, a wild nature. And there is the only way namely through absolute strict protection to keep a wild nature. All other ways result in destruction of wild nature, that means of Pushcha. The reference to bark beetles, excuse me, indicated a top of ignorance in the field of wilderness protection. Spruce trees and bark beetles lived in the wild environment before the human’s appearance and made a harmony and balance for millions of years. And they will further live together during the course of time not less than before, if they will not get harm from one species called Homo "sapiens". This is so because a bark beetle is one of the elements of wild nature. As to fires… If mind will be a reason in a head, then fires will be taken under control!

Generally, these and many other issues concerning wilderness protection and management on specially protected areas were a subject for presentation of my book and for multi-media slide-films. But for some reason no one representative of the governmental newspaper has raised an interest and has visited this event, although this kind of events and topics was initiated in the town of Kamenetz for the first time. It’s pity. A journalist, if he is a true one, shouldn’t be an obedient puppet in hands of an "owner". He must be clear of his responsibility for the people for whom he is writing. I apologize that I need to specify the very very clear things doing it in the unpleasant manner, but in the conditions of the system of total zombie many journalists lose understanding of this.

Heorhi Kazulka
February 24, 2007 "Vecherniy Brest" (The Evening Brest) Newspaper, No 12 In defence of Pushcha

The book "Will Belovezhskaya Pushcha become a true World Heritage Site?" by Heorhi Kazulka, Ph.D of Biology, has come out. An intrigue is in the name itself. It’s known that Pushcha was granted a status of World Heritage Site in 1991.

Meanwhile, the author of the book considers the situation wrong as only a small part of Pushcha ("the core" of the size of 5,500 ha) belongs to a World Heritage Site while the rest, not less valuable part of the relic forest has no this status and, therefore, can vanish in the course of time because of unreasonable economic activity.

Dr. Kazulka, who has being working in Pushcha for a long time - his last post was a deputy director general on science, considers that, with the purpose of preservation of Pushcha, its strictly protected zone should be enlarged to 50,000 hectares and the issues in accordance with UNESCO criteria to give the status of World Heritage Site to this extended area should be discussed. The book rich in illustrations (the photos were made by the author) was published with the financial and technical support of the World Wild Fond of Poland within the framework of the Belovezhskaya Pushcha – 21st Century’s Project. This book has a circulation of 1,500 copies in Russian and 500 ones in English. The project is not commercial. In this way his initiators intend to involve the public into preservation of Pushcha.

Elena TRIBULEVA,
February 09, 2007
February 22, 2007 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" A farewell ball by Snow Maiden

Each winter before the New Year, a Snow Maiden comes to Belovezhskaya Pushcha to a Grandfather Frost’s Estate that together with children who love her very much to spend holidays and a winter vacation. And since appearing the spring the Snow Maiden is going to set out far where she can be covered from the hot sun because after warm days are coming her cold northern beauty can be thawed.

The Grandfather Frost with sadness sees off the favourite granddaughter because he remains alone in the Estate for nearly half a year. Many visitors usually come to the Estate in order to say goodbye for the Snow Maiden and to wish to her bon voyage and prompt return to the Grandfather Frost. All guests are entertained – sweets for children and a glass of vodka for adults.

The actors are also welcomed part of the holiday of farewell with the fantastic Beauty. The famous local ensemble "Pushcha’s musicians", and the invited singers and musicians will amuse the public. The organisers will involve the visitors of the Estate to join competitions and games.

The holiday in honour of the arrival of the Snow Maiden and the farewell with her has already become a good tradition in the Estate owned by the Pushcha’s magician. All people wishing to participate can join it on March 3 at 11.30.

T.Skuratova
February 20, 2007 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" The ambassadors to visit Belovezhskaya Pushcha

The ambassadors of the countries of CIS accredited in Poland have visited Belovezhskaya Pushcha on Sunday. The director general of the National Park Nikolai Bambiza met the high visitors. The Embassy of the Republic of Belarus in Warsaw has acted as an organizer of this meeting. The representatives of the diplomatic missions including the ambassadors of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Moldova, Ukraine, with their families, led by the Belarusian ambassador Pavel Latushko have made a cognition trip to visit a treasury of World Heritage. They have seen an ancient forest of Belovezhskaya Pushcha with oak-patriarchies and pine-giants, have met a herd of bison and deer free living in the nature and have gone on an imperial path. In an Estate of Belarusian Grandfather Frost the ambassadors joined a Shrovetide holiday, participated in the national outdoor party together with all the people and were treated to pancakes and soldier's kasha.

The visit to the National Park which became a holder of Gold medal of the 2006 Brand competition this year has created unforgettable impression upon the foreign visitors, according to their words. They have expressed their appreciation from the visit to Belovezhskaya Pushcha in a letter addressed to the general director:


February 20, 2007 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" Our hut is reach in visitors

Last Sunday a national holiday of seeing-off of winter was held in an Estate of Grandfather Frost in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. The children's dancing ensemble "Neposedy" from the village of Ryasna, a winner of numerous competitions, met the visitors from Minsk, Brest and other regions and the local inhabitants at a gate. Their song "Welcomed" has invited all the guests to participate in Shrovetide. A Grandfather Frost with retinue accompanied by musicians has led the adults and children to 12 Months sculptures where the skomorokhs from the town of Kamenetz held competitions and games at a fire and granted prizes for the most dexterous and active participants.

The ensemble "Pushcha’s Musicians" from the village of Kamenyuki and the artist Verka Serduchka from the city of Brest gladdened the public near a Christmas-tree. The old and young broke into a dance under rousing songs of the actors. The weather favoured the gaiety, having presented the sun and slight frost all day long.

Shrovetide lavishly treated all to pancakes, real soldier's kasha from a field kitchen and fish soup. There were music and Belarusian national songs, while bison, owners of the Pushcha’s ancient forest which ate hay and were not afraid of the people, stood nearby feeding-racks.

February 15, 2007 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" Great resettlement

"From the interest of hunting red deer is indoubtedly of high priority after bison in Belovezhskaya Pushcha”, Georgy Kartsev wrote so in a unique book about Belovezhskaya Pushcha. Then he continued “This animal belongs to those getting on in troubles in wild conditions with civilization. And therefore, being unable to find enough lonely places on the plains of southern and southwest Russia, the deer also left in the course of disappearance of forest areas. It was noticed that deer’s migrations were from east to west. So, to the east from Belovezhskaya Pushcha, in the Pinsk forests and in the region in front of the Dnepr River, deer has vanished in the 17th century, in Lithuania and in Volyn region it became extinct in the 18th century, and by the end of the 19th century it was occasionally met only on Privislanskoe land… In Belovezhskaya Pushcha memories on deer were only kept in the names like "Deer Mountain","Deer Coniferous Forest", because deer were absent in Pushcha already in the time of Augusts Sacsons.

The first initiative to introduce deer in Pushcha was given by the Prince Plesse famous in the hunting world. During the visit in Pushcha in 1860 an idea has come to the Prince to keep bison in his lands. Having seen that the forests of Belovezhskaya Pushcha are a perfect area to provide a hunt for deer, in 1864 he, through the forest warden and Pushcha’s manager Schtralborn, has offered in exchange twenty red deer for four bison. The sanction to exchange was obtained and 18 red deer were delivered to a Pushcha’s zoo in 1865…"

More than one century has passed since this book was written. Many changes has been bringing to the life of the inhabitants of Belovezhskaya Pushcha - the kings and their favourites, the top-leaders of the times of the Soviet Union and the visitors from foreign countries hunted for deer. However, a favourable environment and human care about conservation of Pushcha’s fauna helped deer not only for surviving but also for normal breeding and keeping safety.

These days of February some tens of deer from Pushcha are changing their permanent residence to move in woods of the Vitebsk region. About 40 deer, having said goodbye with the lingering roaring to Belovezhskaya Pushcha and their congeners, have set out on a journey in special crates to the Lepelsky and Ostrovetzkiy forest enterprises. They will find the second native land there. The next lot of antler animals is under preparation to be delivering. And the huntsmen and hunting managers continue to carry out inventory on wild animals and in the coming days the quantity on each species including deer will become known. The handsome forest inhabitants are well adapting to live in mixed forests. They do not get into troubles for other animals and do not pester even the king-bison. The only requirement from the human is to help deer adapt in the new conditions, to supply with food in snow winters and to defend from poachers.
February 10, 2007 "Komsomolskaya Pravda v Belarusi" (The Komsomol Truth in Belarus) Newspaper To confiscate guns from the Swiss citizens for ever because of bison killing

Besides, the unlucky hunters have paid a penalty of 27 thousand Euros.

The Swiss citizens have killed two bison – a mum with a kid - in November last year. They have arrived together with a team of foreign tourists - French and Germans – to Belovezhskaya Pushcha for hunting. The tourists have been instructed. They were explained that only wild boar and deer are allowed for shooting. Bison is in no circumstances. The Swiss, probably, got not understood this. A criminal action was brought because of murder by the foreigners. We already wrote about this in the newspaper on November 18, 2006.

Approximately one week ago we have stopped the criminal proceedings, Yuri Makush, chief of Investigation Management of Internal Affairs of the Brest Executive Committee, told to "Komsomolskaya Pravda". A damage was repaired as a German travel company which delivers the hunters to Belovezhskaya Pushcha has paid 27 thousand Euros for the "feats" of the Swiss citizens.

After coming back home to Switzerland, the poachers also got into troubles - they were deprived the rights of hunting for term of life.

How legally to hunt for bison

The bison from so-called "reserved gene fund" consisted of old and ill animals can only be allowed for hunting. But this kind of bison is not always available. In Belovezhskaya Pushcha, for example, approximately two or three ill or old animals can be found per year. And most likely, it is therefore necessary to call for many hunting enterprises. After we have found a place where there is a "rejected" bison, we can go on the next stage - we submit an application to the Ministry of Nature Protection. If we get a sanction from there we can hunt then.

Alexandra SLUTZKAYA
February 09, 2007 Website "Charter'97" A photo-exhibition "My Contra-Points" by Belarusian ecologist Valery Dranchuk in Minsk to open

A photo-exhibition "My Contra-Points" by Belarusian ecologist Valery Dranchuk devoted to the US national parks is open. "Trough this exhibition I wanted to compare American attitude to nature with our one in Belarus", the author has said at the opening of the exposition. "I also would like that the people not only looked but also read the exhibition". Almost each photo is added with the author's explanatory words in which he draws parallels between what he has seen and has impressed from America and what is going on in Belarus.

The ecologist calls creation of national parks in USA "the greatest idea in all history of America". Except for national parks there are also a lot of reserves and national forests in USA." Some of them are actually given to scientific institutions and universities because the science is engaged there not only in study of nature but also in its protection", the Belarusian ecologist told.

Valery Dranchuk has emphasized that "we should learn from America how this country protects its nature". "The reserves are not just declaration there. They are a true industry of admiration and pleasure, the industry without petrol, timber carrying vessels and cross-country vehicles", the ecologist told. In his opinion, in order to make Belovezhskaya Pushcha a true national park, it is necessary to forbid hunting there, immediately to remove a sawmill plant out the park's borders, to close roads accessible for transport vehicles and to increase the number of scientists and ecologists. "I saw in USA how a prickly wire is put on roads good asphalted in the natural reservations in order close them", the author of the photo-exhibition shared his impressions. He also informed that he is now finishing a book about the travel in USA in 2005 with support of the US Department and US Embassy in Belarus.

The exhibition is held in the Holy Simeon and Elena's Roman-Catholic Church (Red Church). It will be open up to the end of February.

BelaPAN's note. The famous ecologist Valry Dranchuk has studied at the faculty of journalism of the Belarusian State University. He worked in regional newspapers and in the newspaper "Zvyazda" (Star), he was chief-an-editor of the magazine "Native Nature" and an employee of the magazine "Belarus". In 1995 he has founded the first author's newspaper of ecological orientation "Belovezhskaya Pushcha". Since 2001 he leads the independent ecological initiative "TERRA-Convention". He is an independent journalist, photo-artist, author of books including "Belovezhskaya Pushcha. Resolution SOS. The chronicle of beauty and struggle".
February 01, 2007 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" An excursion designed high quality

Vyacheslav Semakov, Ph.D. of Biology and an author of some scientific and popular books and publications about Belovezhskaya Pushcha, is a holder of Gold Certificate for services in the field of excursions and tourism.

A certificate and a mark of compliance of the State Standard of Russia are presented to Vyacheslav Semakov by the Russian Marketing Centre "System of Voluntary Certification of Information Technologies".

The background of getting the very honourable award is as the following. There is a high educational institution in Russia specializing on education for nuclear physics-engineering. Our Belarusian students who are under patronage of Alexander Lukashenko, President of the Republic of Belarus, also study at there. Having arrived in Belarus for selection of the talented guys, an authoritative commission consisted of the professors and academicians have wished to visit a treasury of world importance - Belovezhskaya Pushcha. Vyacheslav Semakov guided the excursionists on the National Park's territory. He is a person the most often putting in charge of serving excursions when famous or very famous people are visiting Pushcha.

The perfect knowledge of the history and modernity of Belovezhskaya Pushcha, a rich experience of life (he worked on Kamchatka, in the Leningrad Institute of Microbiology, in the Biological Institute on Pamir Mountains), a good language and personal charm make his excursions bright and remembering. This is why the tourists leaving Pushcha put many good responses. The service by Vyacheslav Semakov is noted there as well.

Soon after the excursion in Belovezhskaya Pushcha started, the nuclear scientists (they are also members of the commission on certification of information technologies) began to make marks in their notebooks. And after the excursion came to the end, they announced that such the excursion should be certificated, as it was made later. According to their estimation, the excursion conducted by Vyacheslav Semakov estimated 440 points and it could highly be awarded (420 points were necessary to gain for the certificate). In this way, Vyacheslav Semakov learned that his excursion "was under inspection" by the very solid commission. A month later the envelope with the Gold Certificate came to his address.

The possessor of this honourable award has the right to place a mark of compliance on his printed and published production, on the letters, forms, visit cards, folders, video and audio plate-cassettes, CD-discs. A Gold Certificate is a mark of quality of excursions conducted by Vyacheslav Semakov.

The scientist is now writing a new book about Belovezhskaya Pushcha and is systematizing information about meetings with remarkable people, political figures, and leaders of the states and outstanding sportsmen who have earlier visited Pushcha. They are the persons such as President of the Republic of Belarus A. Lukashenko, Metropolitan of Minsk and Slutzk Filaret, Exarch Patriarch of All Belarus, Ex-President of Ukraine L. Kuchma, and also Ex-Speaker of the Top-Chamber of the State Duma of Russia Egor Stroev, the wife of the first President of Russia Naina Eltcin, the Minister of Defence of China, foreign ambassadors accredited in Belarus, famous actors, parliamentarians, Olympic champions and others.

We hope that his future will also have a mark of quality books like the excursions and his book "Belovezhskaya Pushcha: 1903 – 2003 which were sold within half a year and became nearly a best seller.

Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"