People, Environment

Camping Sites Designated in Golestan Nat’l Park

Camping Sites Designated  in Golestan Nat’l ParkCamping Sites Designated  in Golestan Nat’l Park

The Department of Environment has set up a series of fire protection equipment in Golestan National Park in Golestan Province, northwestern Iran, to control wildfire and minimize damage.

Located in the eastern Alborz Mountain Range and the western edge of the Kopet Dag range, Golestan National Park is one of the protected areas in Iran. The park is home to species as varied as Persian leopards, Indian wolves, wild boars, maral deer and roe deer. It also hosts a variety of flora, such as temperate broad leaf forests, grasslands, shrublands and rocky areas.

The park is one of the main tourist attractions in northern Iran, which hosts crowds of visitors year-round, especially in the summer, IRNA reported.

“A massive influx of campers causes irreversible damage to the park that is a valuable natural heritage,” maintained Ali Teymouri, director general of Hunting and Fishing Conservation and Management Office at the DoE.

The main threat to the site is wildfire, which more often than not occurs due to negligence on the part of campers.

To protect the reserve from fire accidents, the department has designated special sites for campers to settle, which park rangers patrol frequently.

“Areas in the park deemed “high-risk” have been equipped with fire alarm systems,” Teymouri said.

“The fire alarm system has been piloted in the most vulnerable spots of natural reserves and national parks in Ilam Province, which worked well. We’ve now decided to equip more parks in Ilam, as well as some in Fars, Lorestan and Golestan provinces.”

To strengthen the security of national parks, helicopters are stationed in Golestan and 13 other provinces to be used in case fires break out.

Teymouri warned that those who deliberately set fire to forests will be sentenced to two to five years in jail, while accomplices will have to serve anywhere between six months and two years.

Last year, fires swept 4.5 hectares of forests in the Golestan National Park, but they were contained quickly by park rangers with the help of local residents before they could cause permanent damage to the flora and fauna.

According to Iranian officials, 95% of all wildfires are caused by humans, only 70% of which are accidental.