Bulgarian Forest Rangers Visit the Black Forest

How can forestry and nature conservation work together successfully? In order to find answers to this question, a group of forest rangers from Bulgaria visited the German Black Forest Nature Park at the end of September. This 5-day study tour was organised by EuroNatur and its Bulgarian partner organisation Green Balkans.

The participants’ home region Smolyan near the Greek border is a part of the Balkan Green Belt showing a mosaic of ecologically valuable woodland communities and rare grassland ecotypes. The high diversity of habitats harbours a wide range of rare plant and animal species. Accordingly several areas of the Smolyan region form part of the European protected area network Natura 2000.

However, the actual implementation of European standards is still to be completed in the woodlands of the Western Rhodopes. To support this process, EuroNatur and Green Balkans started a project in September 2011 highlighting how Natura 2000 woodlands can be managed sustainably for the benefit of man and nature. Sharing experiences with German institutions is a core element of the project.

During the study tour the participants saw best practise examples on how to deal with old growth and deadwood, and how the forest can be managed to remain a suitable habitat for certain species like the capercaillie. Direct exchange of experiences with German forest rangers was another important part of the field trip. The participants were especially impressed how naturally the Black Forest management aligns ecological with economical interests and took home a bundle of ideas and tools to be transferred to the Smolyan region.

Read more on EuroNatur’s projects to protect the Balkan Green Belt.


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