We recently assessed the Kalkalpen National Park in Austria for its wilderness conditions, hiking through different sections of the park, discussing with park staff and other stakeholders, studying maps and reports…

Professional Photographer Bart van Engeldorp Gastelaars

Wildlife photographer Bart van Engeldorp Gastelaars proposed to capture impressions and the feeling of wilderness and he travelled to Kalkalpen National Park just some weeks before we went there. Bart spent a week documenting wilderness themes like natural processes, landscapes, species and wilderness–human interaction. He then provided the European Wilderness Society and the National Park with a range of photo’s to be used in our wilderness campaigns. Special thanks go to the Österreichische Bundesforste and Nationalpark Kalkalpen for their support and on-site assistance.

Kalkalpen National Park features the largest forest region in Central Europe and the largest karst well in Austria. Kalkalpen was awarded with the Gold Candidate Wilderness Diploma at the beginning of this year and is recently subject to our international wilderness assessment.

“Seeing firsthand the disturbance  brought upon forests by either avalanches, bark beetles and the wind was very impressive” says Bart. “It makes you realize how small humans are compared to the full force of nature and I’m grateful there are still places in Europe that are simply wild.”

Katrin Schikorr of the European Wilderness Society: “Wilderness can and as we experience needs to be defined by sets of criteria. But wilderness is also vastly about emotions and feelings, it needs to be touched, smelled, discovered, experienced. Thanks to Bart who kindly offered to go through the challenge of picturing wilderness in one of Europe’s wilderness areas, the Kalkalpen National Park and to share his impressions via some stunning visuals! ”

Check out some results of his trip here or see more of Bart his photography at www.picturingwildlife.com

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