The Schaalsee Biosphere Reserve (German: Biosphärenreservat Schaalsee) lies in western Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (districts of Nordwestmecklenburg and Ludwigslust-Parchim) on iths border with Schleswig-Holstein. From 1952 to 1990 large parts of the Schaalsee landscape lay within the military out of bounds area of the Inner German Border. That state-imposed rest period enable nature to develop so that in the year 2000 this valuable area was designated as a biosphere reserve. On the Schleswig-Holstein side of the border is the Lauenburg Lakes Nature Park founded in 1961.
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