NEWS ARCHIVE: SEPTEMBER 2007

September 26, 2007 "Komsomolskaya Pravda v Belarusi" (The Komsomol Truth in Belarus) Newspaper A Lithuanian-bison has frightened Byelorussian agriculture machine operators

A symbol of Belarus was nearly to disturb winter crop sowing.

"A song about a bison" which went from a forest and frightened a mechanized section of sugar-beet raising workers was told by the BelTA Information Agency. The bison weighing 800 kilograms tried to butt a beet-harvesting machine, ate beet and rolled on it. One of the workers stayed in the cab while a specialist and two field workers have run away.

We have called to the agricultural industrial cooperative society where the bison behaved violently.

In fact, we sowed winter crop, Petr, a driver of the beet-harvesting machine has told to the "Komsomol Truth". The bison has visited a field. He stayed for a few time, pawed the ground…

Have you taken fright?

It's better to say that the bison was frightened of me! I decided to have bison's photo taken, has lifted a scoop and has gone to be close to it. The bison has got a very fright and has run away in the forest. But I got success to make a photo!

We are well familiar with this bison, the vice-president of the enterprise has explained. It lives in this area for three years. It is staying in our enterprise foe a week, then goes to another. We have got used to it, and are not afraid! We suspect that the bison has come from Lithuania. There is a version that it has a chip while scientists research its migration. Anyway, it doesn't get up any focuses. It doesn't harm to anybody. The bison is not a full indeed. What reason is for the bison to attack a machine and to butt it. The bison is not mad!

Alexandra SLUTSKAYA
September 25, 2007 Website "Saint Nickolai's Orthodox Parish in Bialowieza" Records on the border (Poland)

August has become the next record month. This time about 1,700 people has taken advantage from the local border crossing in the village of Bialowieza that is the greatest number since its opening.

The cost of contraband also got the record. The customs officials have detained the goods of the total sum of 1153.50 Polish Zlotys (about 410 US $).
September 24, 2007 Website "Belarusin Partisan" A bison banished villagers from a field

A bison suspended harvesting beet in the agricultural industrial cooperative society "Dotishki" of the Voronovski district for almost half a day s a BelTA's reporter was informed from the society's administration.

According to interlocutors, the bison went from a forest to a field and broke the work of a mechanized section of sugar-beet raising workers. The huge animal weighing about 800 kilograms has blocked a way for a beet-harvesting machine which driver keeping silence stayed in the cab within nearly three hours. An expert and two field workers of the agriculture cooperative has left the field at all.

Being occupied the territory, the bison three times tried to butt the machine. Then, not hurrying up, the bison ate beet and rolled on it. Eventually, after thoroughly trampling the plot, the giant has left to the forest. As was noted in the cooperative, the machine operator could harvest over 40 ton of beet during the time he was forced to be idle.

One third or about half a territory of some districts of the Grodno region are covered by forests and reserves. In this connection there are many problems of late because of wild animals. Wild boars and bison have become actually very active. They destroy crops of grain, potatoes, beet and maize. For example, in the Svisloch district about one thousand hectares of agricultural plants are suffered from invasion of animals. The damage has made over 245 billion Roubles (~ 120,000 USA $) as was emphasized in the Reginal Agricultural-Food Department.
September 24, 2007 Electronic dispatch "Eco_Rus" An experience from our neighbours: An appeal to stars of the Ukrainian show-business to support a campaign against sport hunting and cruel treatment towards animals

Ukrainian ecologists addressed to stars of the Ukrainian show-business with an open letter to support a campaign against sport hunting and cruel treatment towards animals.

The Kiev Ecological and Cultural Center, the Ecopravo-Kiev NGO and the Bureau of Ecological Investigations (the city of Lvov) have addressed through mass-media to the stars of the Ukrainian show-business with an offer to take part in the campaign to struggle against sport hunting and cruel treatment towards animals.

The stars all over the world, variety performers and film actors, such as McCartney, Brizhit Bardo, Andriano Chelentano, Dame Gudi Danch, Noel Gellaher, Pomela Anderson and others act against sport hunting and fur clothes. Pol McCartey with his colleagues has achieved closing the traditional hunting for foxes in Great Britain. In 1988 Andriano Chelentano has gathered 14 billion signatures of Italians against hunting. Famous Russian stars such as Laima Waikule, Yuri Antonov, Yuri Shevchuk, Elena Kamburova, as well as the composer Fedor Gladkov and others have lately joined the struggle against sport hunting. Unfortunately, the Ukrainian stars are still away from this important movement. Moreover, some of them propagandize cruel attitude to animals when being key actors with furs in some clips. They are Verka Serdyuchka, Viagra, Taisiya Povaliy and Ruslana. Ani Lorak even advertises sport hunting by giving interviews.

The press-service of the Kiev Ecological and Cultural Center, Ukraine
September 21, 2007 Website "Saint Nickolai's Orthodox Parish in Bialowieza" "Kurier Poranny" in its yesterday's issue has summed up the tourist season in the area of Podlasie (Poland)

Although many owners of hotels are complaining about the unstable weather this year which has frightened off some tourists, however not everyone has given way to be in the dumps. The Bialowieza National Park is pleased with the tourist season this year. Ewa Moroz-Keczynska, a keeper of the Nature-Forest Museum in the village of Bialowieza, has informed to a correspondent of the "KP" that "the Bison Demonstration Reserve, as ever, has had a greatest popularity. About 117,000 tourists have visited us. This is actually much".

About 72,000 tourists has visited the Nature-Forest Museum.

According to the newspaper "Kurier Poranny"
Photo by www.flickr.com
September 20, 2007 BP-21 Century Website News Service No offenders to be covering in Belovezhskaya Pushcha!

As it was earlier informed, in May of 2007, the news that a woman and her husband, both the foresters, have illegally shot a deer and a wild boar in Belovezhskaya Pushcha was published in the Belarusian press. Proceedings was instituted against them and the perpetrators of the crime were imposed a fine of 14.4 million Roubles (~ 7,000 US $). Mass media did not specify the surname of the defendants. And we, therefore, have clarified that the woman was a forest officer of the Korolevo-Mostovskoe forest area, and her husband worked a forest warden of this forest area.

As it recently got known, a sitting of the court was held nearly one month ago and the following verdict was done – Alexei Sereda was given a home-sentence because of the crimementioned above. According to preliminary information, Zinaida Sereda who recently gave birth to a child and is now a woman on maternity leave did not figure in the judicial verdict. Since we aren't familiar with materials of the criminal case, it is beyond our competence to make any comments on the court's verdict. Let's only note that, according to information given by Andrei Rusin, an employee of the Department of Information and Public Connections at the Office of Internal Affairs of the Brest Executive Committee, to the newspaper "Sovetskaya Byelorussia" in May of 2007, it followed that (it is quoted) "The married couple tell that when they drove in a car through the forest at the night a red deer crossed a road, then a wild boar run out. They began to shoot and killed both animals. It is not clear who of the couple shot".

So, it was officially specified that both spouses were at the place of the crime and participated in this business. As to the verdict, only one of the spouses is mentioned. Nevertheless, this circumstance does not withdraw the fact that the poaching wild animals was conducted on the territory of the Korolevo-Mostovskoe forest area and Zinaida Sereda, a forest officer heading this forest area, was involved in this business or, at least, shrouded this action. You already saw that while searching in her apartments the skins of a deer and a wild boar were found. The more is so as it's impossible to her of being unknown of these facts.

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We also want to pay attention to some annoying stylistic discrepancies in relation to Zinaida Sereda in our previous news published under the name "A woman suspecting of illigal hunting proved to be close to the administration of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"". In that news, accept for information about illegal hunting for a deer and a wild boar, the talking was also about illegal cutting down of living forest. In particular, there was told that "in 2005, it was illegally cut down few large living ash trees which were then taken out in unknown direction". The basic materials and the facts of investigation concerning this offence are described in detail in the section "Photo-fact" on the page "Cutting down living Ash trees of old age in protected compartments, 2005"

Certainly, the talking isn't about that Mrs. Z.Sereda herself and personally using a chainsaw sawed huge ashes. The talking is about that this serious offence was made within the territory of the Korolevo-Mostovskoe forest area she headed. The administration of the National Park, employees of the forest area and inhabitants of the village of Kamenyuki are well aware of this fact and they know certain persons including the forest officer to be concerned in it. The forest officer, therefore, if she was not involved in this case, should at least check that situation in order to inform the management of the Park about illegal cutting down of the timber and to require investigation that to reveal all persons guilty or involved in the crime. However, it was not done that in itself is already a serious infringement of the Forest Code of the Republic of Belarus and the Law "On especially protected territories and objects". This is because the extraction of old ashes with valuable wood has been conducted at the heart of Belovezhskaya Pushcha, let's say, in broad daylight. The given fact says much for inspectors of the prosecutor office. And if to be close to the normal situation, this fact is enough to institute proceedings, to reveal and to punish perpetrators of the crime.

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"Felling of big old-aged Spruce trees as traps" for the purpose of fighting against bug beetles can be attributed to another cases of illegal catting on the territory of the Korolevo-Mostovskoe forest area in 2005. Regarding that case, instead of using small-diameter trees as a demand of appropriate instructions, huge and thick trees having a good quality of wood were cut down. This is the infringement of these instructions. These trees could become the "gold" gene fund of Belovezhskaya Pushcha in the long-term prospect. Their cutting down, therefore, is considered extermination of the best specimens of Belovezhskaya Pushcha and destruction of the best what is available there. There are also other cases of wrongful activity on the territory Korolevo-Mostovskoe forest area which require conducting a special investigation.

Thus, some stylistic discrepancies which were made in the previous text change nothing as regards of the matter of the issues and the problem, in particular, of the illegal activity conducted on the territory of the Korolevo-Mostovskoe forest area headed by the forest officer Z.Sereda in that time. And I do not exclude that all of these can soon become a subject for new criminal cases grounded on the facts mentioned above, but not only on them, and that, apparently, it is still early to put a final point in the business of "poaching". By the way, some last events actually push to do this.

This is very important and urgent on the threshold of preparation to celebrate the 600-th anniversary of the nature protection status of Belovezhskaya Pushcha, the start to which was given after the signing a special order by the President of the Republic of Belarus. This is because no one will object that the Republic of Belarus should adequately approach to this anniversary and should show to countries all over the world the proper protected status and the real legality on the territory of Belovezhskaya Pushcha, not their imitation and hidden-covering corrupt persons and offenders.

Heorhi Kazulka,
PhD of Biology,
Belovezhskaya Pushcha
September 19, 2007 Website "Saint Nickolai's Orthodox Parish in Bialowieza" Colours of nature in the Bialowieza National Park (Poland)

Since September 22, 2007 (Saturday), an art exhibition "Colours of Nature" is opened in the Nature-Forest Museum of the Bialowieza National Park in the village of Bialowieza. The nature of the Bialowieza Forest designed in two images – the autumn and the spring - is the main motive of the pictures.

The Bialowieza National Park and the Gallery "Kresy" are invited to visit the art exhibition "Colours of Nature". It presents the pictures of the best artists living in the area of Podlasie. Joanna Kiersnowska, Marek Chomczyk, Michal Janczuk, Kazimierz Jerzy Jurgielaniec, Andrzej Onchimowicz, Leslaw Pilcicki, Slawomir Rybak and Witold Illinicz Zeydel are authors of nearly 20 works.

Visitors of the exhibition can admire forest landscapes like hornbeam and coniferous woods of the Bialowieza Forest, glades, floods of the River of Lesnaya (Forest River), old and fallen trees.

The exhibition will be lasted till November 20, 2007. Visiting is possible between Monday and Friday from 9 am to 4.30 pm and in Saturday and Sunday from 9 am to 5 pm.

If any questions, you can address to the curator of the exhibition:
Ewa Moroz-Keczynska,
tel: (+85) 6829711,
The source of information: www.powiat.hajnowka.pl
September 19, 2007 BP-21 Century Website News Service The ruin of a house of culture in the administrative centre of Belovezhskaya Pushcha is complete to be removed

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In the village of Kamenyuki, the administrative center of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha", the ruin of a house of culture blown up in early June of 2007 is complete to be cleared away. A vacant plot of land is now instead of the former house of culture.

Within two weeks dumper trucks took out building remnants, which consisted of many materials like bricks and blocks still worthy for re-use, to a dump area. A bulldozer covered all of these by sand. And a big hill-embankment which buried the remnants of the house of culture is now in the place of the sand-pit.
The buried house of culture in the sand-pit - Click to enlarge in the new window The buried house of culture in the sand-pit - Click to enlarge in the new window The buried house of culture in the sand-pit - Click to enlarge in the new window
The buried house of culture in the sand-pit - Click to enlarge in the new window The buried house of culture in the sand-pit - Click to enlarge in the new window The buried house of culture in the sand-pit - Click to enlarge in the new window
Let's remind that before to start removing the ruin of the house of culture a special guard of the National Park called OMON in Russin (Special Service Militia Team) was on duty near the ruin of the house of culture every night that local inhabitants could not take building materials worthy for re-use. Locals consider this situation as a management line which the administration of the National Park purposely directed against the local community. They count that this is discrediting the Belarusian top-authority made at the local level.

The administration of the National Park and local authorities say about big plans to build different facilities in Belovezhskaya Pushcha what is connected with forthcoming preparation works to celebrating the 600-th anniversary of the nature protection status of Belovezhskaya Pushcha. More detailed information is still absent.

Read more details about how the house of culture was blew up and about problems prior to this event, and look photos in:
September 16, 2007 Website "Saint Nickolai's Orthodox Parish in Bialowieza" Oaks on-line (Poland)

Professor Zdzislaw Pucek
The Bialowieza Forest is the greatest concentration of trees of sizes which are considered monuments in Europe. Focusing on this, two websites which show beauty and exclusiveness of growing there trees are operating. That is for people, both in Poland and in Europe, to learn this, it seems to me, a bit less known side of the Bialowieza Wild Thickets.

At present over 1,500 trees (8,000 photos and 300 microfilms), basically oaks, are described. However, the website is permanently progressing. As a whole, there are about 5,000 trees there. Most probably, this is the greatest virtual show-window about trees in Europe.

I congratulate the perfect inhabitants of lovely to my heart village of Bialowieza and invite to visit my websites:
"Oaks in the Bialowieza Forest" - www.deby.bialowieza.pl (I offer to vote for the most beautiful oak tree growing in the Pushcha)
Trees of the Bialowieza national Park - www.drzewa.puszcza-bialowieska.eu.

Tomasz Niechoda
September 14, 2007 Website "Saint Nickolai's Orthodox Parish in Bialowieza" Professor Zdzislaw Pucek has passed away (Poland)

Professor Zdzislaw Pucek
We regretfully inform that yesterday being 77 years old Professor of Biology Zdzislaw Pucek, the outstanding scientist working as a director of the Mammal Research Institute in the village of Bialowieza for many years and a great admirer of the church music, has gone.

Professor Zdzislaw Pucek was an author or a co-author of 6 books, 20 book sections and about 210 research papers published in prestigious international magazines. He was one of the best experts in the field he dealt with and he was greatly appreciated both in the country and abroad. He was a man of high culture, a man open for others. He had a candid attitude to all people.

We deeply condole with this to his wife Pani Michalina.

May his memory live for ever

The source is the site "www.zbs.bialowieza.pl"
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The group of the BP-21 Century's Project joins the condolences as the case of death of the Professor Zdzislaw Pucek, the outstanding scientist who has greatly contributed to researches and conservation of Belovezhskaya Pushcha / Bialowieza Forest.
September 09, 2007 BP-21 Century Website News Service There will be no a Belovezhskaya sea, an aqua park will be, or humour from the administration of the National Park

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2 weeks ago the next dramatic topic, Will Belovezhskaya Pushcha get a Belovezhskaya sea?, was raised on the website "Belovezhskaya Pushcha – 21 Century". It was said that, being in conditions of secrecy regarding information close from the public and employees of the National Park, the administration develops any plans of large-scale transformation of natural landscapes in the Pravaya Lesnaya river's valley (Right Forest River) that to build either a large reservoir or an aqua park. All of these can cause a serious damage to the unique natural ecosystem of Belovezhskaya Pushcha.

In order to prevent the next possible adventurous plan of managers of the National Park I have written a letter addressed to the Manager of the Property Management Department of the President of the Republic of Belarus. With this letter I deeply concerned about possible negative consequences for the nature of Belovezhskaya Pushcha because of these plans. I have also pointed out to inadmissibility for these planes and have requested to give me information (according to regulations of the Aarhus Convention Belarus ratified) about plans on building reservoirs and estimation of possible damage caused from this building.

My letter was sent to the administration of the National Park from whence on August 30, 2007 I have received the answer. It contained the following text I quote "According to your inquiry addressed to Alexander Kulichkov, the Manager of the Property Management Department of the President of the Republic of Belarus, we elucidate that a number of integrated measures aiming preparation for celebration of the 600th anniversary of the Pushcha will be carried out within the territory of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha". Information about secrets and mysteries of Belovezhskaya Pushcha can be gathered from a book by S.Grebenchuk and A.Polonskiy "Secrets of Belovezhskaya Pushcha". Signed by Nikolai Bambiza, general director of the State Nature Protection Institution "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"

I, certainly, appreciate humour of the general director Nikolai Bambiza because only in this way his answer can be shared. However, the issue on possible further destruction of natural landscapes of the River of Pravaya Lesnaya and damage to Belovezhskaya Pushcha I raised are as serious as it is not enough to limit oneself by only humour. In this connection I have sent one more inquiry (according to regulations of the Aarhus Convention) asking to give available information on plans of building of any water objects in the valley of the River of Pravaya Lesnaya and estimation of ecological damage from this building.

Since information about plans of the administration on transformation of the River of Pravaya Lesnaya is absent in the book "Secrets of Belovezhskaya Pushcha" by S.Grebenchuk and A.Polonskiy issued in 2003, and surely cannot be present there, while the administration of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" continues to hide the authentic items regarding information about its plans, I want again to express deep concern about possible negative consequences from badly planned, scientifically unreasonable and contradicting to the law activities of the administration.

In my turn I put new information related to plans of building of reservoirs which I was able recently to get from trustworthy sources. In particular, in spring of this year a substantiation of building of the aqua park in order to make further progress in the field of tourism was developed in the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha". Necessity to make a highly effective complex of tourist services and to satisfy various needs of tourists is specified as a background for this.

I want to pay attention that Anna Dengubenko and Grigory Kravchuk, persons who earlier repeatedly grounded, lobbied and covered illegal activities of the administration of the National Park and, because of this, deservedly were added to a National Shame List as very contributed to destruction of the protected primeval forest of Belovezhskaya Pushcha, are the authors of this substantiation.

Second. From sources having close contacts to experts who were charged to develop the aqua park's project and who conducted field-measuring works in the valley of the River of Pravaya Lesnaya in spring of this year, it became learned that the idea of building a dam and flooding a large area in the valley of the river is rejected as scientifically unreasonable and contradicting to the Law of the Republic of Belarus "On especially protected territories and objects". Instead of this, the planners were charged with developing an engineering design of the aqua park in the area of ponds "Plyanta" and with making the plan of building a large new reservoir covering 10 hectares of the surface in the valley of the River of Pravaya Lesnaya (to the left of the entrance to the tourist centre of the National Park). The purpose of this project is to attract more tourists. The large reservoir will also serve recreational purposes (rest, beaches, go boating) and for fishing.

The River of Pravaya Lesnaya in its natural origination, in the valley of which the big reservoir can be built that can destroy its natural landscaoes (this is the satellite picture shot from the space and placed in the system Maps-Google)
Thus, although the scales of the new reservoir (10 hectares) are not commensurate with the reservoir of the area of 600 hectares (the Belovezhskaya see as it was mentioned earlier), nevertheless, its building will result in complete and irrevocable destruction of big territories of wild nature in the valley of the River of Pravaya Lesnaya and will change the hydrological situation, both for the River and for adjacent natural ecosystems of Belovezhskaya Pushcha. If building this reservoir, the management line for destruction of Belovezhskaya Pushcha as a unique primordial natural area will actually be continued that contradicts the Law of the Republic of Belarus "On especially protected territories and objects".

In this connection the building of the reservoir of the surface of 10 hectares in the valley of the River of Pravaya Lesnaya is inadmissible. Moreover, water in this reservoir will "blossom" in summer as situated within the wetland area and what we observe in other similar reservoirs in Belovezhskaya Pushcha including in the recently dug out new pond "Plyanta". Belarusian and international public, journalists and ecologists should make all efforts in order to stop realization of the latest adventurous plans the administration of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" is going to do and to prevent the next discredit of a nature protection image of Belarus, now in the eve of the celebration of the 600th anniversary since establishment of the nature protection in Belovezhskaya Pushcha.

I shall be repeating, there are small-sized ponds in the natural boundary of Plyanta which is near to the tourist centre. One of these ponds was reconstructed last year. In that place, not in the valley of the wild river of Pravaya Lesnaya, it is necessary further to develop water-engineering recreational projects of the National Park. This is also important as aqua parks become popular and will be constructed in other regions of Belarus. Time will come soon when nobody will be surprised of this. We should keep in Belovezhskaya Pushcha things which are unique and which are absent anywhere else. And this is the wild natural relic Bialowieza Forest. We shouldn't produce entertainments at the price of destruction of this unique wild forest. This approach exactly corresponds to interests and to the management line on conservation of Belovezhskaya Pushcha as a World Heritage Site for the sake of the next generation of people on the planate Earth.

Heorhi Kazulka
PhD of Biology,
Coordinator of the BP-21 Century Project, Belovezhskaya Pushcha


The ponds "Plyanta" are near to the River of Pravaya Lesnaya. They are situated in the Recreational Use Zone. The aqua park can be built covering these ponds (this is the satellite picture shot from the space and placed in the system Maps-Google)
The appendix 1: Pictures which show project-measuring works in the valley of the River Pravaya Lesnaya where building the new big reservoir is planned.

On these pictures, landmarks are shown which were apparently used by the designers to mark the borders of the planned new reservoir.
The project to build the new reservoir - Click to enlarge in the new window The project to build the new reservoir - Click to enlarge in the new window The project to build the new reservoir - Click to enlarge in the new window
The project to build the new reservoir - Click to enlarge in the new window The project to build the new reservoir - Click to enlarge in the new window The project to build the new reservoir - Click to enlarge in the new window
These pictures show sites where the designers took samples of soil for analyses.
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The appendix 2: The threat of destruction of wild nature of the River Pravaya Lesnaya

The possible building of reservoirs in the valley of the river Pravaya Lesnaya will be resulting in destruction of many of the most beautiful sites of wild nature, such as shown on these photos.

the River Pravaya Lesnaya
The River Pravaya Lesnaya – click to enlarge in the new window The River Pravaya Lesnaya – click to enlarge in the new window The River Pravaya Lesnaya – click to enlarge in the new window
See more photos with wild nature of the River Pravaya Lesnaya in the Photo-gallery.

The valley of the River Pravaya
The valley of the River Pravaya Lesnaya – click to enlarge in the new window The valley of the River Pravaya Lesnaya – click to enlarge in the new window The valley of the River Pravaya Lesnaya – click to enlarge in the new window
See more photos with wild nature of the valley of the River Pravaya Lesnaya in the Photo-gallery.
September 07, 2007 "Narodnaya Gazeta" Narodnaya Gazeta" (The People’s Newspaper) Newspaper, No 177 A royal regulations

450 years has passed since the issuing a "forest regulations" by the King Sigismund II August.

This was the first document in the Slavic language which covered this field. According to the new law a special commission to analyze numerous suits concerning the right of forest- and meadow-tenure was created. Forest wardens have got a detailed instruction what to do if inspecting Belovezhskaya Pushcha.

The regulations forbade cutting down of dead trees without a sanction from the royal authority. It was also determined punishment for unauthorized placing beehives in hollows of trees and was put under limitation the fishing and the number of hunting dogs. A capital punishment was defined if killing a large animal. Just to enter a state wood was authorized only in cases if accompanied by an inspector.