HISTORY OF TRANSCARPATHIAN VIRGIN FORESTS PROTECTION AND INVESTIGATION
Hamor F., Dovhanych Ya., Pokynchereda V., Sukharyuk D., Bundzyak Yo., Berkela Yu., Voloshchuk M., Hodovanets В., Kabal M.
The Transcarpathian region is located in the very center of Europe, and that is why an economic exploitation of forests has been held here for centuries. As well as in Europe in general, beginning with the middle of the 18th century the forested area started decreasing. That was the reason why a number of forest scientists started activities on research and protection of the remaining patches of wild nature. So, already in 1907 forest reserves in Stuzhytsya and on the mega-slopes of Pip-Ivan Maramoroshskyi Mt. were designated. And in 1912-1914 the Hungarian Forest Administration started up the protection о f some small virgin forest sites in the Chornohora massif on the south-western slopes of Hoverla Mt.
A significant contribution to these activities was made by a prominent Czech scientist Prof. Alois Zlatnik, who had documented the biggest virgin forest sites in Transcarpathia in the 1930ieth, and that was him who had initiated designation of protected areas of those forests. But for that, in 1936 he had established a network of permanent sample plots here, which came to be the basis for the fundamental forest research in this part of Europe.
During the next coming decades thanks to the attempts of well-known Ukrainian scientists I.H. Pidoplichko, S.M. Stoiko, V.I. Komendar and others new forest reserves were established. And in 1968 the Carpathian State Reserve was designated to which there were gradually included such virgin forest sites as those in Uholka-Shyrokyi Luh, Chornohora, Maramorosh, Keveliv and other massifs.
In recent years the Director of the Swiss Federal Institute of Forest, Snow and Landscape Investigations WSL Mario Broggi made an inestimable contribution into research and promotion of Transcarpathian virgin forests. It was him who supported a large-scale fundamental research of virgin beech forests. On the basis of CBR there was organized an International Conference “Natural forests in the temperate zone of Europe -Values and Utilization” (Mukachevo, 2003) and a bilingual (in Ukrainian and German) book “Virgin forests in the Center of Europe. Guidebook for the forests of the Carpathian Biosphere Reserve”, which is a very unique one, was published. Thanks to the joint activities of the CBR’s experts and specialists of the technical University of Zvolen (Slovak Republic) a Ukrainian-Slovak nomination “Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians”, where Transcarpathian forests make up the main part, was listed to the List of UNESCO World Natural Heritage in 2007.
Source: Hamor F., Dovhanych Ya., Pokynchereda V., Sukharyuk D., Bundzyak Yo., Berkela Yu., Voloshchuk M., Hodovanets В., Kabal M. Virgin forests of Transcarpathia. Inventory and management. – Rakhiv, 2008. – 86 p.