Bashkiria Ecology Ministry has prepared documents to impose protection status on Mount Kushtau
The Ministry of Ecology of Bashkiria has prepared documents for the creation of a specially protected natural area on Mount Kushtau, the head of department Niyaz Fazylov announced at a press conference in the Bashinform News Agency. The Head of Bashkiria Radiy Khabirov sent a letter with a corresponding proposal to the Ministry of Natural Resources of Russia on August 22. The federal environmental department supported the idea and promised to assist.
On August 16, Radiy Khabirov arrived at the Shikhan (Mount) Kushtau, where a conflict flared up between Bashkir Soda Company and a group of activists opposing the industrial exploitation of the mountain. The Head of the Region managed to end the clashes and persuade all sides to leave the mountain. Radiy Khabirov promised that no one would enter the mountain until finding a compromise solution.
Shikhan (Mount) Toratau received a protection status in 1965, Yuraktau — in 1985.
“Kushtau, perhaps, is not as impressive as the other two Shikhans, but from the point of view of scientists, this mountain is just as unique and valuable. The issue of the Kushtau status was discussed in 2005. Then the locals opposed, but only because the protection status prohibits any economic activity. The question of developing Kushtau was not raised; no one expected such a turn of events. People simply did not want to be forbidden to graze livestock or mow hay. So they missed an opportunity. Now, of course, they see the situation differently,” said Vasily Martynenko, director of the Ufa Institute of Biology, RAS.