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ENVIRONMENTÁLNE DEJINY LESNEJ KRAJINY V DOLINE ŠTIAVNIČKY V NÍZKYCH TATRÁCH

ENVIRONMENTAL HISTORY OF FOREST LANDSCAPE IN ŠTIAVNIČKAVALLEY IN LOW TATRAS

Pavel Hronček
Technická univerzita v Košiciach, Fakulta BERG, Ústav zemských zdrojov, Oddelenie geo a montánneho turizmu, Boženy Nemcovej 32, 042 00 Košice, e-mail: phroncek@gmail.com

Abstract

The article describes problems of historical forest landscape and its research in Štiavnička valley in Low Tatras (central Slovakia). We used new trends and methods in the research of historical forest landscape in a scientific context of environmental history of landscape. The environmental history of landscape is a modern and progressive science developing in Slovakia.

Forest exploitation and its devastation started in Štiavnička valley in the 15th century in the context of the development of gold placers. Old gold placers in lower Štiavnička valley have an area of over 100 hectares. Since the 16th century, underground mining is intensive on the main ridge of Low Tatras, and also on the backs of Veľký (Big) Gápeľ and Malý (Small) Gápeľ. Intensive Valachs colonization began in the 16th century and since then a major factor in forest devastation was in Štiavnička valley. Another economic activity was extensive forest extraction  and burning charcoal for smelters. The effect of these main economic and devastating activities was removing of the original beech, beech-fir and fir primeval forest in Štiavnička valley. During the 19th century, the original forests were replaced by monocultural spruce forests.

Key words: Forest landscape, Štiavnička stream, central Slovakia, valley, historical maps, archival research, field research

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