"Karelia", ¹ 51 of June 4, 2013
These days, one more protected area in the Republic of Karelia has been officially given the right to live and be protected – the state integrated landscape reserve of regional significance Gridino in the Kemsky District has been designated by the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Karelia dated June 18th.
The Gridino landscape reserve feasibility study was prepared by the Karelian Research Centre, Russian Academy of Sciences (it has become a tradition that all designations of nature conservation areas and sites in the republic have been substantiated by Karelian scientists). The landscape reserve was established to conserve the most valuable and vulnerable natural complexes, archaeological sites, to maintain the ecological balance, and promote the development of tourism.
The original nomination suggested including undisturbed natural complexes in both Kemsky and Louhsky districts. The nature reserve area in that case would have been 44,000 hectares. The two districts however differed in their attitudes towards organization of the reserve. Where in Kemsky District both people and the administration were in favour of the designation, Louhi demonstrated a rather cautious attitude to the conservationists’ initiative. As the result the reserve has been cut down to around 8,400 hectares. The biggest, and moreover, the most valuable part in greatest need of protected remained beyond the protection boundaries.
The reserve regulations prohibit: any types of logging (except for selective felling of dead or damaged timber for individual purposes), exploration and extraction activities (including peat mining), blasting operations, drainage or irrigation. Land allocations for private housing projects, gardening, horticulture or summer cottages are not allowed.
Naturally, while aiming to help the vulnerable environment, the PA founders could not ignore the interests of local people, who can continue going to the reserve. Fishing, hunting, berry and mushroom picking are not prohibited. Yet, some apparently believe their interests would be infringed…
Scientists argue that the work to establish the full-fledged Gridino landscape reserve should be continued.