The Wolf Private Nature Reserve
The Wolf Private Nature Reserve has an area of 21.24 hectares and is situated in Prešov region, in the Čergov Mountains, within the cadastre of the community Olejníkov, in the spring area of the Ľutinka stream. WOLF has aquired the forest from a private landowner. The amount that was necessary for buying the forest - 3.2 million Slovak crowns, was raised within the scope of the fundraising campaign Buy your own tree by help of supporters from 19 countries from all over the world. WOLF has been the owner of the forest since 1998 with no human interventions to be taken in this forest ever since. This means no logging, no planting of trees, no removing of dead trees and no hunting in this forest. The forest is located in the end of the Jarabinčík Valley in the micro river basin Ľutinka. The geological basement is Paleocene flysch. Beech and fir prevail in the lower parts of the forest, whereas it's a beech-maple forest that covers the slopes close to the mountain ridge, with trees of the dwarf growth in the uppermost parts of the valley. The predominant tree species are beech, sycamore maple and fir, with scattered Norway maple, elm, birch and the rare Silesian willow. Just below the ridge also rowan occurs. According to the measurements of an expert, the number of trees with a diameter of more than 70mm/30in totals up to 11 548. Besides the typical accompanying species of beech, the undergrowth also presents perennial honesty, yellow archangel, dog's mercury, herb Robert and four fern species. The protected species growing here include Martagon lily, the endangered elder-flowered orchid and the ridge slopes are adorned by alpine sow thistle, white false helleborne and alpine leek. The birds you can hear and see in the Wolf Reserve include the chaffinch, robin, blackbird, song thrush, blackcap, woodcock, chiffchaff, wood warbler, and hollow nesters like nuthatch, collared flycatcher, black woodpecker and other woodpeckers and titmice. Four owl species occur here: the Ural owl, tawny owl, boreal owl and pygmy owl. Golden eagle and lesser spotted eagle fly above the meadow that is included in the reserve. The ungulates that occur here commonly are the roe deer, red deer and wild boar, the predators occurring in this area are wolves, lynx and one brown bear.
In order to guarantee official protection of the area under the act on nature and landscape protection, we have prepared a proposal for the designation of the Wolf Private Nature Reserve, which was submitted to the District Office of Prešov in 1999. After a period of endless hazing from the part of the Environmental Department, the proposal was approved first after the involvement of our attorney and in April 2002 the agreement on declaration of the reserve was prepared. This however, even after repeated appeals, was not signed by Ing. Polačko, the chairman of the District Office, who thus blocked the whole declaration process. Therefore in cooperation with a team of lawyers we came up with a series of measures that ended up in bringing a suit at the District Court in Prešov in March 2003. In that suit we demanded that the Region District Office in Prešov would end the holdups and would enter with us in the agreement on declaration of the reserve. On October 17th, 2003, the District Court ruled in favor of WOLF and obliged the District Office in Prešov to enter with us in the agreement under the threat of a fine in amounts of hundred thousands of crowns (approx. 3,300 US$) repeatedly. Since the public administration went through a reform in January 2004, the whole case was passed on to the newly established District Environmental Office in Prešov. Its chairman has entered with us, as was set forth by the ruling, in the agreement on declaration of the Wolf Private Nature Reserve. Subsequently, after final remarks of the Ministry of Environment, the Office issued the binding regulation which was published in the Government's white paper with date of effect as of April 1st 2004. This means that after almost five years, to be precise after 1722 days, we have finally lived to see that the state has enabled us to protect, pursuant to the law, the forest that we - the citizens - had protected voluntarily already from 1997.
The fundraising campaign Buy your own tree still goes on now for the reserve's enlargement.
Racking your brain over what to give your friends or family ?
Do you want to give something beautiful and unusual for a birthday, Valentine's Day, wedding or just out of love?
If so, you can join those who are saving a piece of wilderness in the Eastern Slovakia by symbolically buying a tree.
One such tree costs 50 EUR and the buyer contributes to the protection of forest stands adjacent to the Wolf Private Nature Reserve in the Čergov Mountains which are to enlarge the reserve. The tree, once bought, has the good fortune that it will remain in the forest and won't be taken away even after its death.
We have a great pleasure to inform, especially those who have already joined the Buy Your Own Tree campaign, that on February 8th, 2002 we have raised the necessary amount of 3.2 million Slovak Crowns for the protection of the 21 hectares of the natural beech-fir forest. The last donation in form of symbolic purchases of a tree came from Ms. Caroline Cox, Oregon. A rarity among the February contributions was the gift of a man from Slovakia, who bought two trees for his twin daughters for their 2nd birthday that they had precisely on February 2nd, 2002.
We kindly thank to all who have contributed or helped otherwise.