Beavers — not just bears — are also damaging the Csík region

Minister of Environmental Protection Barna Tánczos and State Secretary for Agriculture and Rural Development Antal Szabolcs Barabás visited several small farms during an official visit to Hargita (Harghita in Romanian) County on Monday, April 26. They also met with the mayors of the Alcsík (Ciucului de Jos) region and held meetings with the local farmers to discuss forestry, environmental and agriculture issues, Barna Tánczos told maszol.ro.

As the minister said, during the meeting they also discussed several problems, such as the bear issue and the damage caused by the growing beaver population. According to Barna Tánczos, there are areas in the Csík region where the beavers have taken tens of hectares from agriculture. “We are looking for a solution, and a study was conducted on the current situation of the beaver population in Hargita County,” Tánczos told maszol.ro. As the minister emphasized, after the evaluation of the study, they must define some areas that are prohibited for beavers to inhabit, so the animals will not endanger the roads, railways and other important infrastructure.

Minister of Environment Protection Barna Tánczos (right) and State Secretary for Agriculture and Rural Development Antal Szabolcs Barabás on a small farm in Alcsík. Photo: Barna Tánczos’ Facebook page

Barna Tánczos also said that the beaver dams closed several drainage ditches, which caused the flooding of large fields and hayfields. In order to clean out the ditches, the Ministry of Environment Protection must start negotiations with the Ministry of Agriculture, Tánczos said, adding that in the following weeks, the competent experts will start working on a strategic plan for the intervention.

The minister told Maszol.ro that they discussed the area management plan for Natura 2000 sites during their meeting with the local mayors as well; the plan is currently being presented in every municipality. “The management plan was created by a company from Bucharest, as ordered by the Pogány-Havas Microregion Association; the goal is to piece together an environment protection plan that, on the one hand, does not limit nor exclude the possibility to develop, while, on the other hand, provides sustainable agriculture from an environmental point of view,” Tánczos explained to maszol.ro.

Agriculture tenders to be launched soon

The state tenders for the support of agriculture development will be launched soon, State Secretary Szabolcs Barabási Antal told the media at a press conference held in Tusnád (Tușnad). “Great possibilities and good amounts are available for the support of young farmers that are worth taking advantage of. However, there will be tenders for the modernization and development of existing farms as well, including for new infrastructural investments, not just for young, entry-level farmers,” the state secretary announced, adding that the tenders will be published soon on the website of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

As Szabolcs Barabási Antal said, the allocation for the tenders is RON 2.8 billion (EUR 568 million), but its distribution for the different programs has not yet been finalized. “It is certain that there will be tenders for young farmers. In addition, it is important that there will be different tenders for mountain and lowland farmers, so I think those living in Hargita County have a realistic chance to compete in the tenders,” Szabolcs Barabási Antal said at the press conference.

Title image: Beaver dams blocked several drainage ditches, which caused the flooding of large fields and hayfields in the Csík region

Author: Orsi Sarány