Less than a few months have passed since Saratov Kumysnaya Polyana Forest Park changed its status from a specially protected natural area to a natural monument, as new logging was discovered on its territory.
As the vice-president of the Municipal Council in the Regional Duma told the authors of BV Andrei Varlamov, in late April, environmentalists recorded the felling of acorns there. The process is a bit like dilution, which is why experts are very concerned – has the infamous “development” of the area begun? The following is the whole letter of Andrei Varlamov.
Timber on the Kumysnaya glade
Tree cutting on the Kumysnaya glade. In Kumysnaya Polyana, the habitat of flora and fauna, including rare Red Book species, is literally being destroyed. This is not an exaggeration, but a statement of facts.
My colleagues and I have previously recorded the felling of protected oaks in the Kumysnaya Polyana area during bird watching. However, what we saw last Sunday (April 24, 2022) no longer looks like “sanitary” logging, but real logging. For the sake of demolition and export of oaks, the “lumberjacks” demolished and abandoned less valuable species of trees, leaving behind mountains of plant remains. And, all this is happening in the nature protection zone of Kumysnaya Polyana, where economic activity is limited! This site is located in the 16th arrondissement of Kumysnaya Polyana, on a plateau near the Saratov No. 1 Clinical Hospital. 8 (Odesskaya Street).
Who will be responsible for this barbarism? Probably the administration can answer this question GUSO “Natural Park” Kumysnaya Polyana “, in which the state has authorized the protection of the natural area. It is this state institution that controls the territory of the protected area, including the movement of vehicles!
Most recently, on March 9, 2022, during a regular meeting of the Public Council for Environmental Improvement of the Saratov Region (created on the initiative of the Deputy Governor Roman Busargin), we have heard regular assurances from officials that changing Kumysnaya Polyana’s conservation status from a ‘natural park’ to a ‘natural monument’ would be a blessing for this area. We heard that this would allow more efficient management of the natural area.
We can now see the “effectiveness” of this control. The forest is being destroyed, which is home to many species of animals and plants, including rare species of the Red Book of the Saratov Oblast and the Red Book of the Russian Federation.
Specifically, in this quarter it was possible to observe rare species of orchids, butterflies and birds of the Saratov region (two-leafed lovebird, medium-sized woodpecker, memosyne and others).
Obviously, the people in charge of Kumysnaya Polyana are not able to organize effective protection of the natural area, not to mention its management and development. How long will it last? Is it really impossible to find capable and dignified leaders in the Saratov region who will deal with the REAL nature protection?
Unfortunately, such an attitude on the part of Saratov’s officials on environmental issues is not new. Nature protection has always been funded in our area on a residual basis. For the last 20 years, not a single regional program has been implemented for the conservation of rare species of fauna and flora in the area. This is confirmed by the recently approved budget of the Saratov region for the period 2022-2024, in which one can find negligible amounts of budget funds that the government of the Saratov region has allocated for various environmental activities. You can get acquainted with the budget parameters on the site “Open budget of Saratov region”.
For example, under the sub-program “Environmental protection, protection of natural complexes, objects and resources” in 2022, the following funds are available to finance the main activities: registration of new habitats of plant species and animals mentioned in the Red Data Book of Saratov region “- 100 thousandcell rubles; 2. “Identification of natural complexes and objects for the organization of specially protected natural areas of regional importance in the Saratov region” – 100 thousandcell rubles; 3. “Environmental monitoring” – 100 thousandcell rubles; 4. “Application of ecological analytical control in sources of anthropogenic influence” – 100 thousandcell rubles.
Such meager budgets are available from the government Valeria Randaeva for an area equal in size to a European country. Obviously, with such a level of funding, one can not hope for the effectiveness of the work of the competent Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology of the Saratov Region!
The publication once every 10 years of the regional Red Book also does not speak about the effectiveness of the work of the competent department, why. The Red Book is not just a gift edition with illustrations. The Red Book is a working tool that should be the basis for the development and implementation of various regional programs for the conservation of rare species of fauna and flora, by allocating the necessary budget funds for these purposes. And there are no regional programs!
Particular attention should be paid to legislative initiatives in the field of nature protection, which should aim at preserving and increasing the natural wealth of our region.
On the website of the Saratov Regional Duma, on February 9, 2022, a draft regional law was published “On certain issues of creation, change of borders and elimination of specially protected natural lands of regional importance in the Saratov region” (section “Documents \ Draft Laws law »).
The initiator of the law was the Agricultural Committee of the Saratov Regional Duma, which was once the initiator of the adoption of a regional law on cormorant hunting.
This draft regional law not only does not comply with the provisions of federal law FZ-No. 33 “On Specially Protected Natural Areas”, but contains direct wording that speaks of a possible component of corruption. For example, Article 5 “Changing the boundaries of a specially protected natural area of regional importance” contains the following wording – 1. “The boundaries of a specially protected natural area of regional importance may be changed in the manner prescribed by Article 4 of this law , on the initiative of the interested parties … ».
Since when in the Russian Federation the interests of the “stakeholders” have become higher than the interests of the state and state policy in the field of nature protection? In its current form, the bill does not aim at maintaining and developing the network of specially protected natural areas in the Saratov region, but at degrading and possible destruction for the benefit of the “stakeholders”.
This is how we live. Ministers, MPs, environmental prosecutors, regional governors’ advisers on various issues, regional governors are changing in the region, but the problems not only remain, but are multiplying.
I ask you to consider this material as a formal appeal to the Saratov Regional Prosecutor’s Office and other supervisory services of the Saratov Region to verify the destruction of vegetation (trees) in the nature protection zone of the protected area of importance “Nature Monument” Kumysnaya Polyana “.
Deputy PiChairman of the Public Council under the Saratov Regional Duma
The photo shows the protected flora and fauna of Kumysnaya Polyana: the Lesser Woodpecker, the Memorial or the Black Apollo, the broadleaf Dremlik orchid and the Middle Woodpecker.