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On the border between Poland and Belarus, surrounding the village of Bialowieza, sits the last remaining pristine fragment of great primeval forest in Europe. For centuries it was protected from logging as a hunting ground for the Czars. Then, in the 20th century, it was declared a National Park. But the protected area is tiny; someone could walk across it in a couple of hours. Conservationists want to expand the National Park around this pristine core, to include the commercially logged forest that surrounds it. But these plans have put conservationists in conflict with the foresters and with local people, who fear that their forestry jobs and rights to collect firewood, fruit and fungi would go. This radio broadcast describes the experience of this unique forest and tracking down its diverse species and most famous inhabitant - the European bison, as well as the real dilemma of how to balance the interests of local people, foresters and conservationists, against the backdrop of a struggling Eastern European economy. The broadcast is 30 minutes in length.
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