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Excursion of Journalists to Belovezhskaya Puscha Under Escort

Recent excursion of journalists to Belovezhskaya Puscha (Belarus) was carried out virtually under escort. The administration of the national park did everything to bar the representatives of press from seeing anything except for the front of the national park from the excursion bus. Demonstrational excursion to "one of the windfalls" was made also. As the administration insists, basic logging are carried out exactly in this place for the sake of rescue Puscha

It was especially emphasized, that this outdoor press conference is routine, and that it has no relation to the initiative of a group of journalists, which had become anxious with information about commercial logging of trees in Belovezhskaya Puscha and proposed to organize three-day press-expedition to Puscha.

Indeed, this one-day excursion was rather far from what really the journalists and scientists, anxious with condition of this unique European forest, wanted: namely to understand real current affairs - what remained from Puscha. Two saw-mills on its territory, which work almost round the clock, compel seriously to ask this question. However the administration of the park asserts, that there are no illegal cuttings of trees on the territory of the park, and every tree that that is cutted down - is either stricken by bark beetle, or is hard hit by winds.

"Prevention" of press from getting "unnecessary information" was organized rather clumsy. For instance, part of undesirable scientists and journalists had had problems with accreditation. Among "undesirable ones" have found themselves Valeriy Dranchuck, the journalist and ecologist, the editor-in-chief of the ecological newspaper "Belovezhskaya Puscha"; Eugeniy Smocktunovich, the former head of the State National Park "Belovezhskaya Puscha", and Georgiy Kozulko, his former assistant, biology Ph.D. The guards has simply stopped Smocktunovich and Kozulko at the entrance on the territory of Belovezhskaya Puscha. Valeriy Dranchuck using his journalistic certificate, nevertheless, was able to get to the building of administration of the park, where he has communicated with journalists.

The presence of scientists was also undesirable, and for clear reason. According to version of Mr. Bambiza, it's all fault of bark beetle (typograph) which several years ago attacked the firs of Puscha. And then, probably, finished off the fir, the beetle grew hungry so much that it pounced also on pines and oaks. In fact, any person a little bit interested familiar with the problem knows, that the bark beetle is uncommon gourmet, and it eats nothing except for fir-tree. So either Mr. Bambiza has made great scientific discovery, and one might as well to declare about discovery of new specie of vermin beetle - "Ips tipografi Bambizii", or all that is barefaced lie with the expectation of lack of information at the journalists. Then some journalists asked Bambiza: whether this newly discovered creature drinks beer and eats lard?

As it known after outburst of infection by bark beetle in Moscow region, epidemic of typograph is rather profitable. Under pretext of infection by this beetle it is possible with impunity to cut down any trees to gain profit, that exactly occurs. At the same time, the trees which are really infected frequently remain on the place of cutting, promoting further moving of the vermin. However, as we already said, typograph affect only fir-trees, but in Puscha it is possible to see excellent pines cutted down.

In addition to the bark beetle, new management of Puscha finds guilty of its devastation its present defenders, former management of Puscha - they, ostensibly, have let the bark beetle breed, and they bought the notorious saw-mill. That was announced on the press conference after the excursion. It is clear, that it is much easier to slander anybody behind his back.

At the same time with attempt to hide the truth that occurs in Puscha, there is the campaign for discredit and intimidation of those, who raises the alarm. For instance, not once there were attempts to declare them mentally sick, there is information that enemies are going to use violence against some participants of the campaign in protection of Puscha, right up to elimination. If to remember, how people disappear without leaving a trace in Belarus, there is a rather substantial reason to worry.

But defenders of Puscha do not surrender. Valery Dranchuk, the journalist and environmentallist says: "Puscha is cutted down and taken out, the local inhabitants told me about that with pain. As a result of ecological terrorism there is only facade left from former greatness of Puscha. And today in people held there by fear to lose work in the forest province. And it is obvious, because for word of truth family could loose means of subsistence. The people are worry about the reserved forest and ask public to stand up for Puscha". Valery Dranchuk plans to busy himself with this problem in detail together with the members of "Terra-convention", the ecological public initiative created in support of the international nature protection legislative acts, conventions and agreements, in which Belarus participates.

The information of BelaPAN News Agency and own sources of the information was used

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