Wilderness in Germany and the people managing it

Jens Wilhelm, chief Ranger of Nationalpark Hainich and Vlado Vancura, European Wilderness Society during the first short assessment of potential Wilderness in Muritz NP, Germany.

During my recent trip to Germany, where I was searching for wilderness in the northern and central part of the country, I visited such areas as: Schorfheide-Chorin Biosphere Reserve, Jasmund National Park, Vorpommersche Boddenlandschaft National Park and Hainich National Park.

This trip proved to me that there are in fact some really great pieces of wilderness in Northern and Central Germany that will meet the strict European Wilderness Quality Standard but I also met the managers responsible to protect and steward these Wilderness areas.

Jasmund National Park

Meeting of representatives from the Nationalpark Vorpommersche Boddenlandschaft, Nationalpark Jasmund, Germany, Succow Foundation and the European Wilderness Society.

It was a real pleasure to talk to the rangers, the field managers but also researchers and National Park directors and exchange ideas, experience,  hear their opinion about the challenges of wilderness in Germany, the opportunities and the future of Wilderness in Europe.

What really got me excited is the high level of personal wilderness enthusiasm and preparedness to do much more than just the regular day to day duties of their normal job.

These wilderness advocates are a stark contrast to all of those naysayers who consider Germany as a well developed industrialized nations has no space for Wilderness and its fauna.

Christin Loll, manager of the Nationalpark Jasmund and Hannes Knapp from Succow Foundation in National Park Jasmund.

After this trip I am sure that Germany will play a vibrant and vital role in the European Wilderness Network with Europe´s best Wilderness, WILDIslands, WILDRivers, WILDForests and WILDCoasts.

I also remembered a slogan I once read on the wall of backcountry park ranger office in the Rocky Mountain National Park: Wilderness doesn’t need protection, wilderness need protectors”…

After my last two weeks in Germany I am sure that Germany has these protectors.

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About Author

Vlado Vancura is the Deputy Chairman and Director of wilderness of the European Wilderness Society and is based in Liptovsky Hradok, Slovakia.

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