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To the way of Wilderness

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While the rocks and peaks of the Sensen mountains give the national park its distinctive profile, the forest is the prevailing trait of the Reichraminger Hintergebirge. In total, the park covers a surface of more than twenty thousand hectares, eighty-one percent of which is covered by forests. In the green sea of trees, time seems to stand still, but in actual fact, a dramatic change is taking place.

Director: Michael Schlamberger
Camera: Michael Schlamberger, Rolando Menardi
Editor: Andrew Naylor, Lukas Kogler

Sound: Rita Schlamberger, Christian Ghafour
Dubbing Editor: Chris Domaille
Dubbing Mixer: Wolfgang Setik, Chris Domaille
Music: Kurt Adametz

Customer: Nationalpark Kalkalpen

Today, the motto is 'back to nature”. It wasn’t always like this. For thousands of years, mankind had been exploiting the forest, gradually adjusting it in the course of history to suit the needs of the people. Somewhat surprisingly, the wild, originally all but inaccessible mountain forests of the Limestone Alps National Park are situated at the heart of Austria’s iron industry, which depends on wood as a raw material.

But a change of heart took place a long time ago. The establishment of the national park also marked the end of old-style forestry. Today, power saws are banned from a continuous surface area of ten thousand hectares. Deforestation and monoculture are a thing of the past. Current efforts concentrate on increasing the share of deciduous wood and mixed forest.

Of course, this all takes a lot of patience and time, but it has certainly been worth it. Where logs once drifted down the mountain streams and the train used to pick up felled trees, fairytale forests have regrown, and their magic can be relived while walking on gentle footpaths through the forest, along the brooks and canyons, all the way up to the Alpine meadows.

The forests of the Limestone Alps National Park are well on the way to recovering their original state of wilderness.

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