The Bavarian Forest National Park is a national park in the Eastern Bavarian Forest immediately on Germany's border with the Czech Republic. It was founded on 7 October 1970 as the first national park in Germany. Since its expansion on 1 August 1997 it has covered an area of 24,250 hectares. Together with the neighbouring Czech Bohemian Forest the Bavarian Forest forms the largest contiguous area of forest in Central Europe.
Especially protected are the Norway spruce–dominated highland forests, mixed mountain forests of European silver fir, European beech and spruce trees and water meadow spruce woods in the valleys. Although a few remnants of ancient forest remain, the National Park area is still heavily influenced by the former forestry industry. Since nature is now left to take its course again, there is no human intervention when there are catastrophic events such as large scale bark beetle infestation. This resulted in the death of a portion of the high elevation forests in the 1990s and triggered controversial discussions amongst the residents of the National Park, which highlighted differing attitudes to the wilderness. As the result of a compromise, bark beetle is now fought in the buffer area.
Copyright: CC 3.0