We are an expert organization that groups together naturalists and foresters who act on behalf of protecting the natural heritage of the Polish Carpathians. We focus on the area from the Low Beskids to the Przemyśl Plateau Landscape Park and the Bieszczady Mountains. It is there that the last fragments of the Carpathian Forest have survived. Concurrently, we are active in other countries in the Carpathian region; in Ukraine and Slovakia, we work side-by-side our partners. The second pillar of our activities is supporting development of this region that has considerable and untapped potential. We do this not only by promoting the region in Poland and abroad, but also by supporting growth of tourism and popularizing regional products.
The Dziedzictwo Przyrodnicze [Natural Heritage] Foundation was established in 2008 by a group of naturalists interested in the protection of Polish natural heritage. Its main activities focused on the Eastern part of the Polish Carpathian Mountains, from the Low Beskids to the Bieszczady Mountains and the Przemyśl Plateau.
Our Foundation mainly operates in the field. We conduct research, thanks to which we become more deeply acquainted with how rich in variety the species of the Carpathian Forest are. We have been able to find a number of indicator species for natural forest and filed some new Polish species. We seek and map old trees and apply to include them in the registry of natural monuments. We act on behalf of preserving protected species – bears, wolves, lynx, and European wildcats as well as many rare species of birds, such as golden eagles and other species that require establishment of protection zones. We intervene when Carpathian nature is violated and work to stop felling the last fragments of the Carpathian Forest. We take legal action for the creation of new reservations and for establishing the Turnica National Park. We make formal comments to Forest Management Planning and actively participate in the creation of Conservation Plans and Conservation Management Plans for the Natura 2000 program directives. We run the Green Phone hotline, 609 008 039, where we provide legal advice within the frame of environmental protection. With the use of a watchtower geoportal, www.straznicypuszczy.pl, we provide information about potential threats forest management may pose.
We care about developing the region of the Polish Carpathians. We act locally, together with local communities, and initiate activities that support development of nature tourism. We have created a Tourist Information Stop, we promote local agritourism establishments, organize training, and provide advice. We also support ecological farming and assist in fundraising. We work hard on promoting the little-known area of the Turnica National Park (now in development), encourage local producers to cooperate and promote their goods throughout Poland.
Radosław Michalski, alumnus of the Environmental Protection and Sociology Departments, is Chairman of the Board of The Dziedzictwo Przyrodnicze [Natural Heritage] Foundation. Mr. Michalski has for many years been active in the protection and popularization of natural heritage of the Carpathians. The Low Beskids, the Bieszczady Mountains, and the Przemyśl Plateau became his life’s passion. Here is what he said about the latter:
Many scientists believe that the largest swaths of the relic Carpathian Forest in Poland exist intact in the Turnica National Park, which is now in its planning phase. Next to the Białowieża Forest, it is the second place where we can spot species associated with natural forests. It is an almost totally uninhabited area; villages displaced after World War II have never been repopulated since. Golden eagles feel great here – it is home to ¼ of their entire Polish population. It is also an ideal place for those who are eager to observe predatory species in their natural environment: European wildcats, lynx, and bears. This area also stands out with significantly lower numbers of tourists in comparison with the neighboring Bieszczady Mountains.
Our Team is made up of extraordinary individuals, naturalists and foresters who decided to undertake the difficult mission of protecting the Carpathian Forest, as well as volunteers and donors. Become one of them.