On the 16 th of June 2017, Fundatia Conservation Carpathia organized the 4 th meeting of the Consultative Committee, a group of experts from different institutions, which advice the Foundation frequently during the implementation of the LIFE+ project LIFE11/NAT/RO/823 –“Ecological reconstruction of forest and aquatic habitats in upper Dambovita Valley, Muntii Fagaras”.

Representatives of the following 7 institutions participated: Environmental Protection Agency Arges, SC ALFRID SRL, SC FOREST GRUP PROIECT SRL, Societatea Aquaterra Iasi, Muzeul de Istorie Natural Iasi, Forest Guard Prahova, Romanian Water Authority – ABA Arges-Vedea.

The meeting started with a presentation of the LIFE project progress, followed by a field trip to different interest points and new ecological reconstruction sites (nursery in Satic, riparian forests restoration, forest ecosystem restoration in clear-cuttings and erosion control).

Discussions and advice from specialists focused on the reforestation on the clear-cuttings, adjusting the techniques in tending saplings to create space, and improving the way saplings in the nursery are protected against sun. We also got helpful suggestions about building the fish ladders in a proper way so they are actually used by fish to migrate upstream.

We thank all the participants for showing interest and offering advice and we hope to have a fruitful collaboration further on!

07.06.2017 – Life projects caravan, at the end

Today, at the Bucharest National Library we have participated at the event organised by the Ministry of Environment.
Networking, sharing good practices and good results of Life projects conducted all over Romania, photo exhibition with images from our project, a flash mob, nature themed games with 80 children and presents for them.

04.06.2017 – 25 years of Life projects

In 2012, FCC has started the project “Ecological restoration of forest and aquatic habitats in the upper Dambovita Valley, Fagaras Mountains” LIFE11/NAT/RO/823
Uncontrolled logging has destroyed significant parts of the forest surface and has even taken a toll on the virgin forests still present in the Dambovita Valley. This project aims to protect remaining wilderness, and to return managed forests back into their natural state. The aquatic and riparian ecosystems have suffered since the 1980ies when a hydro-power plant with numerous river control and regulation structures were built along the Dambovita river and its tributary streams. Here, this initiative aims to elaborate and establish ecologically suitable conditions for the target species without compromising the protection function of the control structures.
Funding structure of the project LIFE11/NAT/RO/823:
European Commission: 2,917,624 € (50 %)
FCC and project partners: 2,917,624 € (50 %)
May and June 2017 are dedicated to celebrating 25 years of LIFE projects.
This week we have met at Transilvania University in Brasov with important members of the Environment Minister, other Environment Protection officials and colleagues from associations that have accessed Life funding, to present our results at the general meeting and on the field.
• Secured 293 ha of pristine forests in the upper Dambovita Valley and the upper Leresti Valley, introducing it into the National Catalogue of virgin and semi-virgin forests
• Replanted 400 ha of clear-cuts
• 1,200,000 saplings used
• Setting up 3 tree nurseries for specific forest species
• 17,000 m of erosion tracks repaired and replanted
• 210 ha of spruce monocultures converted towards natural forests
• 23 km of water courses restored with Alnus glutinosa, Fraxinus excelsior, and Alnus incana (91E0*)
• Actions to elaborate and implement a river restoration plan, in close co-operation with the Ministry of Environment and the Administration for Water Management “Apele Romane”, to enable upstream fish migration.
And the project continues until June 2018.
Wish us good luck, to successfully finish all the activities!

01.05.2017 – Life project: ecological education

Another week, another fun and educational session with the eighth graders from Nicolae Balcescu Pitesti secondary school, at Cabana Miraj from Satic.

Together with their teachers Mihaela Chitea and Mihaela Boboc, the students found out about the results of Life+ project, about our successful replanting campaigns (500 ha so far), about our tree nurseries and efforts to grow saplings, spruce monoculture conversion, erosion control, habitats and most important, about the impact people have in maintaining a positive balance between humans and nature.

22.04.2017 – Happy birthday, dear Earth!

What a wonderful way of celebrating Earth Day: together with the children from our project area!
Part as Life+ project, today we have organised two events dedicated to the forests, with I.L. Caragiale Pitesti secondary school, Clubul Prieteniei Association and Dambovicioara Touristic Information Center.
We have presented the Life+ project, the results, we have played, watched short movies and organised fun activities, all linked to the subject of the day: the ecosystem, the forests, wildlife, water, air and, very important, about our role in influencing the environment, with our actions.

20.04.2017 – Results Forests month, 15 March - 15 April 2017

Except for a few days, the weather was perfect for replanting. Our field teams of employees and seasonal workers took advantage and we have succeeded to replant a total area of 76 ha (66 ha in Life+ project, 290.600 saplings for replanting and spruce conversion activities).
We hope to continue the spring campaign after this surprising period of snow and cold weather.

21.03.2017 – International Day of Forests

Today FCC celebrates The International day of Forests: we have started spring replanting campaign! Wish us good luck and good weather!

We have two directions this season:

• replanting on abusive clear-cut areas, on 98 ha with 390.000 fir, beech, spruce, alder and sycamore saplings, part of Life+ project

• replanting to supplement natural regeneration, on 19 ha with 80.000 fir, beech, spruce and sycamore saplings

Thinking on how difficult it is, we want to thank all the people involved, the fundraisers, the donors, foundations and corporations that support us, the people that do the actual planting and the coordinators that take care of the success of the restoration. From personal experience, we can tell you that it is much more hard to repair than is to conserve!

You want to join our cause, if you stand for conservation and if you want to support replanting clear-cut areas, you can donate on or redirect 2% of the taxes (only for people with income in Romania).


Taking advantage of the great snow conditions after the latest snow fall, this Monday we mobilised our team and organised a day of otter monitoring (Lutra lutra) in the Upper Dambovita valley and Leresti valley. A total of 8 people participated in checking for tracks, faeces or other signs of otter presence, covering a total of approximately 25 kilometres of river course. Otters spend most of their time in the water hunting, so their diet is made up mostly of fish and eventually also other aquatic fauna. So, in order to find signs of otter presence one should look on the river shores for tracks or scats, the latter being left as scent posts on higher spots near the river, a form of communication. You easily recognise an otter scat by its fishy smell and the presence of fish or frog bones in it. Samples of scats were collected for a future DNA analysis.

We discovered a lot of otter tracks and scats on the river segments below Pecineagu Lake. The river segments above Pecineagu Lake also had signs of otter activity, except Vladului Valley, where no tracks were found that day, but many were seen in other monitoring sessions throughout this winter. Otters are searching for food also in the Pecineagu Lake, which was proven by tracks found in a lagoon in Hotarului Valley. We estimate a total of three families living in the Upper Dambovita Valley.

02.12.2016 – AUTUMN RESULTS

The weather was unsteady during the last three-four weeks. Our plans for autumn replanting were disturbed by rainy days or sporadic snow: we have replanted around 20.000 saplings out of 40.000 planned. Yet, no big problem, we will make up for this next spring! We, however, managed to plant alder saplings and sow alder seeds along some river banks along the Dambovita. We are also happy with the progress in tending the saplings in different restoration sites, where we cut the dense, strong grass around the saplings to protect them from being pressed down by snow. We also continued to monitor the general regeneration on clear-cut areas and finished with this year’s erosion control works.


Considering the harsh and fast changing weather conditions that characterized this autumn, we managed to find only one short opportunity lasting 1 day, to plant saplings in Lerești Valley. Such we could make one little step forward in the conversion of spruce monocultures, a unique type of ecological restoration activity which you cannot find anywhere in the country. The total number of saplings planted was 2,250 beech (Fagus sylvatica), all planted under the spruce forest canopy, in places where the density of trees was decreased through specific forestry thinning operations, done just 2 months before.

We covered an area of 7.0 ha and increased the overall progress in the conversion of artificial spruce forests to 177 ha, (44 % of the objective).

Hopefully next year’s weather will be more favorable and we will soon reach a total of 400 ha of spruce monocultures covered with natural species of the original mountain forests.

02.06.2016 – Spring replanting results

Initially, we had some problems with some late snow, but then the weather got perfect. 90 seasonal workers hired from local communities (Rucar, Podul Dambovitei, Leresti and Dragoslavele) have planted 313.000 saplings of fir, beech, spruce, sycamore, mountain ash, alder and ash. A great help was provided by our 8 rangers.

We want to thank everybody for their involvement and good job! We are positive on the outcome, as the rain came after we had finished spring replanting and it remained very wet since then.

24.03.2016 – Reforestation TROUBLED BY SNOW

The beginning of the year has been unusual here with lots of fluctuations in temperature. Considering the warm weather at the beginning of March, last week we decided to start preparing the planting campaign, by rooting saplings, taking them out of the nurseries, bringing them to planting sites and even planting in some lower areas. But, three days after the work started, weather turned cold again and snow came. It seems we have to stop for the next two days, due to freezing cold and a 10 cm layer of snow. Next week we will continue and try to fulfill our objective of planting 317,000 saplings on approx. 80 hectares, until the end of April 2016. Eight rangers will supervise the work of approx. 90 seasonal workers during this time and make sure of success.

25.11.2015 – Onset of winter is closing erosion control work

Since yesterday winter has arrived in the project area. When our colleagues working on erosion control woke up yesterday morning in the forest cabin they stay throughout the week, they stepped on snow. After a long and warm autumn, which allowed us to work quite a while longer than expected, winter has eventually put a hold to all restoration activities. For safety reasons, they drove both excavators down the mountain, to be winterised and maintained for the next season. The total distance of eroded forest tracks, covered with soil and stabilised this year adds up to 4.32 km.

20.11.2015 – Autumn replanting

As scheduled, we continued this autumn to replant another 10 ha of clear-felled areas purchased within the LIFE project. Due to favorable weather conditions, we succeeded to plant a total number of 43,000 saplings, out of which 48% were beech, 29% sycamore, 3 % rowan, 1 % elm and 19 % grey alder. Another 8,300 beech and 500 sycamore saplings were planted in the spruce monocultures that are going to be converted into forests with a more natural species composition. Here we introduced the saplings into the openings created by cutting groups of trees across the artificial spruce monocultures in Leresti Valley. This activity lasted for three weeks, during which FCC rangers were responsible for leading teams of daily-laborers from the adjacent villages.

19.11.2015 - Guests from National and Nature Parks

On the 17th and 18th of November 2015, FCC organized a workshop to which we invited most of the Nature and National Parks in Romania. Three Nature Parks (Vanatori Neamt, Bucegi and Putna-Vrancea) and three National Parks (Cozia, Calimani and Piatra Craiului) confirmed their participation and send representatives. In the evening of the first day we had general presentations and fruitful discussions, while on the second day we gave a more detailed presentation about the activities within the LIFE project, followed by a field excursion to the main sites of conservation measures: a tree nursery, a wind fall in a spruce monoculture, erosion control sites and the clear-felled areas where replanting has already started. Overall it was a good exchange of knowledge and experiences for all participants.

19.10.2015 – The Yew Has Returned to Carpathia

Only few scattered individuals of European Yews (Taxus baccata) still exist in Piatra Craiului National Park and the valleys and mountains to the West, and no regeneration has been documented for a long time. The yew is at the edge of extinction in the South-Eastern Carpathians. Fundatia Conservation Carpathia has now brought the Yew back to the area: In the frame of the LIFE+ project, we have planted 80 yews in three distinct areas during the last days. After a long time of absence, this mysthic tree is back in CARPATHIA! Throughout the next years, we will plant many more yews.

30.07.2015 – Update on nursery maintenance

Lots of rain in early summer made the plants sprout extensively in our tree nurseries.
Unfortunately also the unwanted ones! So we had to put a lot of attention to weeding, sowing free areas, fertilizing and installing shading nets, to ensure the quality of the saplings for the next planting activities. All saplings stand well at this point, and also the ash seeds finally germinated at the end of April – after one year of delay – resulting in almost 8,000 saplings.

18.07.2015 – Update on the erosion control progress

After approximately five months of intensive work with the mini-excavator, we finished the restoration of the forest floor in Piscul Manastirii. On the 48 ha clear-cut, we had to build a total of 27 dams of soil and wood, and completely restored 2.55 km of tractor tracks, including all the heavily eroded parts. The excavator will continue its promising work now in the Comisu – Bunea area.

20.04.2015 – Learning exchange in Patagonia

Between the 24th of March and 17th of April, the executive directors of Foundation Conservation Carpathia, Barbara and Christoph Promberger, together with Daniel Ungureanu, assistant coordinator in the LIFE+ project, have traveled to South America, in a fantastic journey with the purpose of learning from other similar conservation projects. Here, CLT (Conservation Land Trust, a non-profit organization, founded by the American philanthropist Douglas Tompkins) has created several private protected areas, which later have been partially donated to the Argentinian and Chilean state, with the remaining parks to follow. The team has learned a lot about habitat restoration measures, their approaches to the involvement of local communities and strategies for public support, the development of park infrastructure, tourism management, and approaches to wildlife re-introduction and research. The experience acquired is rather unique and the amount of information and strategic advice received are a highly valued input for the further development of the future “CARPATHIA Park”.

17.04.2015 – Update on reforestation activities

On the 26th of March 2015 we started the spring planting campaign, when also the weather became a little milder, even though winter still seems to hold on tight and there’s still partial snow cover, strong winds and obviously quite cold up throughout all Dâmboviţa Valley. A total of over 100,000 saplings have been planted up to this day, out of which 84 % are beech (Fagus sylvatica), 9 % sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus), 4 % fir (Abies alba), and 3 % spruce (Picea abies) and grey alder (Alnus incana). Using a planting scheme of 4,000 saplings per hectare, this covers roughly 26 ha of clear-felled land. An average number of 27 workers have worked in reforestation throughout the past weeks, and even more will join to finish the entire 80 hectares we set as an objective for this season.

02.02.2015 – First Cuttings in Spruce Monocultures

First cuttings to initiate the conversion of spruce monocultures just started in Leresti Valley, taking advantage of the temporary milder weather and a thin snow layer. Until next summer we expect to have covered a total area of 126 ha of spruce monocultures, with this type of intervention.

More than 60% of the timber resulting from the cuttings will be bark-peeled and remain as dead timber in the forest, while in the higher altitudes all timber will remain as dead wood. Extracted wood will be processed and used partially as firewood donations to schools and town halls, and as well as for the necessary infrastructure for the CARPATHIA project.

27.11.2014 - Workshop with the authorities

With the onset of winter in Dâmboviţa Valley, we invited several people from different institutions (National and Local Environment Protection Agencies, Ministry of the Environment and Climatic Changes, National Enviroment Guard, Forestry Inspectorate) for a meeting with field trip, to show the progress of the LIFE+ project. After an introductory presentation, we went to see spruce monocultures and windfalls, as well as our erosion repair work and the latest plantations of beech, fir, sycamore, and alder in different locations along the valley. It was a great possibility to discuss different legal matters, get advice, and to exchange ideas and experiences.

28.11.2014 - Erosion control operations progress

Harsh weather conditions in the mountains around Dâmboviţa Valley has forced the erosion control operations to stop for this year, since the excavator cannot cope with the snowfall and the frozen soil. As an overall progress in 2014, we managed to restore the natural terrain on 2.4 km of skidding tracks on about 1 ha in the Draxin – Pârâul Încurcat area (see map) and 1.4 km in Piscul Mănăstirii, before the temperatures dropped by the end of last week.

08.11.2014 - First grey alder plantations

The first attempt to restore riparian habitats – grey alder forests – took place this autumn, a little before the temperatures fell under 0° Celsius. We managed to plant in two areas (one below the Pecineagu Lake and one further upstream close to the tributary of V. Vladului), summing up to a surface of over 16 ha and a total number of 6.900 planted grey alder saplings. The saplings were all extracted from dense natural regeneration located on the shores of Pecineagu Lake.

19.08.2014 - Children Wilderness Guide published

We have just finalized the children version of the wilderness guide, teaching about the importance of protecting the environment and its wild inhabitants, all put together in a nice story about a bear mother and its cub. The guide comes together with a very basic map, including a game which children will surely find interesting. The guide and the map will be distributed for free to schools and guest houses. The stock sums up to 2,500 copies. Anybody interested in getting a copy, please write an email to

07.07.2014 – Conversion of Spruce Monocultures

On July 4th, we took Prof. Tudoran from the Faculty of Silviculture and Forest Engineering of “Transilvania” University, Brasov, on a field trip to the spruce forests of the upper Lerești Valley. Purpose of the trip was to develop the best methodology how to convert artificial spruce forests back into natural forests. The methodology will consist of assisting broadleaved tree species (beech, sycamore, alder, elm) by extracting spruce trees, or of cutting pockets into the spruce thickets to allow light into the dense cover and to create space for natural regeneration or future planting of saplings from FCC nurseries. We will first work in test plots in order to set or adjust the average volume to be cut per hectare, and then apply the right percentage of extraction on 400 ha of unnatural spruce forests.

27.06.2014 - Wilderness guide published

We are happy to announce that the wilderness guide for the Dâmbovița Valley just came straight out of the printer! The adult version focuses on the different problems that nature and specifically wildlife are confronted with due to human activities in the area, as well as on the actions of FCC to counteract that and to restore the natural eco-system and the wildlife populations. The guide, including a topographic map, is for free and will be distributed to guesthouses, schools and other public institutions in the area to inform people about the importance of wild nature. The total stock sums up to 5,000 copies, each consisting of 52 A6-sized pages. Anybody interested in getting a copy, please write an email to

10.02.2014 - Collaboration protocol with Ministry

FCC and the Ministry of Environment and Climatic Changes, Department for Forestry, Waters and Fisheries, signed a comprehensive collaboration protocol that acknowledges common goals as well as the innovative and experimental character of the objectives and conservation activities included in the LIFE+ project. The protocol was signed on February 4th by Mrs. Lucia Varga, Minister of Forestry, Waters and Fisheries Department, and Mr. Christoph Promberger, executive Director of FCC, followed by a press conference. The most relevant objectives of the protocol for the LIFE+ project are the technical support for implementation of forest restoration, the protection of natural forests, and the support to eliminate barriers affecting the free migration of the aquatic fauna in the upper Dambovita Valley.

16.12.2013 - Mapping of torrential dams

This December we finalised mapping the torrential dams from Upper Dâmboviţa Valley and its tributaries, along with Cuca and Bătrâna creeks. We identified 121 dams, out of which 31 are damaged and 6 demolished. Dams’ average height is 2.4 m, which significantly prevents fish from passing. From the entire dams, only 7 are provided with fish ladders. However, they are unfortunately inefficient given a number of construction flaws. About 77% of the dams are almost fully clogged with deposits (up to 80%), proving that the dams have accomplished their mission. Something worth mentioning is that everywhere around dams, alder galleries are completely missing or degraded, due to the spruce plantations introduced during the communist regime. Alder galleries represent a natural and efficient protection in counteracting torrential spring rains.

26.11.2013 - Erosion repair at Piscul Încurcat

This autumn we put the acquired mini-excavator into action: operated by our new colleague Tavi, we started to work with it in Piscul Incurcat, where our team had filled the ditches and trenches manually with logs and wooden debris throughout summer. Piscul (the peak) – a sinuous ridge deeply furrowed by the marks of illegal logging, stretches right above the forest road. By leveling the margins with the excavator and landscaping the slopes, the water can run off equally and erosion will be put at halt. The excavator moves slowly, repairing about 30 m of eroded tracks per day, but has proven an excellent tool to accomplish our goals.

15.10.2013 - Wild10

On October 6th we had the great opportunity to present the work of FCC and what it aims to accomplish in this LIFE project, to a large audience at the 10th World Wilderness Congress (WWC) held in Salamanca, Spain. The WWC is the world’s largest gathering of wilderness activists that explores issues threatening wilderness, looks at opportunities for rewilding and tries to find solutions that will help ‘make the world a wilder place’. Read more about this wilderness conservation movement on

25.09.2013 - Eco-tourism workshop

On September 25th, FCC together with the Romanian Ecotourism Association (AER) held a first workshop about eco-tourism in the FCC project area. After a short presentation of FCC’s vision regarding the development of outdoor and wilderness tourism, Andrei Blumer from the AER talked about meaning and benefits of eco-tourism and the possibilities for Upper Dimbovita to become a high value nature tourism destination. The second half of the meeting was dedicated to an open discussion about the current problems for tourism operators and possible solutions, which were summarized by the end of the day. All participants agreed that such meetings shall be continued on a regular basis to commonly develop this destination.

25.06.2013 - First conservation actions started

After finishing the inventory on erosion and analysing where the biggest problems appear, we were keen to finally get active! In mid-June our team started to work on the eroded skidding tracks in Piscul Manastirii, a clear-cut of almost 50 ha. The ditches and trenches were manually filled up with wooden debris from nearby, on the steeper slopes, fences will stop the material from being washed away during strong rainfalls. In a next step, a small excavator will help to fill the gaps and to smooth the harsh margins of the tractor tracks.

20.08.2013 - Wild Carpathia

The conservation work conducted within this LIFE project is going to be featured in the third episode of Wild Carpathia, a travelchannel trilogy about the majesty of Romania’s forests and mountains. Director Alasdair Grant and presenter Charlie Ottley visited the Dimbovita area on August 16 to learn about the problems and the ongoing conservation activities. The first episode of this documentary was a big success – shown in 120 countries and 20 languages – a great opportunity to raise awareness for this conservation initiative!

24.08.2013 - Excursion with local and regional authorities

In August we organised two guided field visits into our project area with local and regional authorities to advertise our conservation initiative and to raise awareness for the current problems and possible solutions. Along the main Dimbovita valley we could explain the inventories on natural regeneration and had a look at the ongoing repair work to halt erosion on clear-felled slopes. We also discussed the problem of disturbed fish migration due to dams in the river and showed areas we would like to replant with alder to restore the riparian galleries. Mayors and vice-mayors of the sourrounding villages participated in these trips as well as the chief of police Rucar, the chief of Salvamont Campulung and representatives of the Mountain Gendarmerie Campulung. From the regional authorities representatives of ARPM Pitesti, ITRSV Ploiesti, and MMSC DG AM POS MEDIU took an active part in the discussions.

10.05.2013 - Excursion to Austrian LIFE projects

Networking with other LIFE projects helps to optimise project results and to avoid mistakes. For this reason we visited two Austrian Nationalparks – Nationalpark Kalkalpen and Nationalpark Gesäuse – that are both very good examples of mountain forest and river restoration. During this trip end of April we definitely learned a lot from their hands-on experiences related to river restoration and transfer of managed forests into more natural ecosystems.

16.04.2013 - Tree nursery

The nursery in Sirnea has made it well over the winter. With the snow disappearing and the temperatures climbing higher we can finally inspect the first results of our first tree nursery that will help restoring the clear-felled areas in the Dimbovita Valley. So far we are very satisfied with the amount and condition of the small plants of sycamore, alder, rowan that we sowed in 2012. It is surprizing to see how small the young alder plants are compared to sycamore and rowan, even though it is a pioneer species that repopulates river banks. We also prepared an additional 5 are of soil for ash and elm seeds that we could not obtain last year due to the drought.

16.02.2013 - European Otter Monitoring

One day after a good snowfall we have conducted this year’s first otter monitoring along the Dimbovita River and its tributary streams. We were very pleased to find fresh tracks all the way from the end of Valea Vladului down to the entrance of Satic village, which translates into over 30 river kilometers. Since all the tracks appeared very fresh we assume that we have three different individuals or family groups along the river and the (currently almost empty) Pecineagu Lake. We have also taken excrement samples for genetic analysis to learn more about the social structure of these animals.

20.12.2012 - Nursery established

We have created the first 6 are of our nursery that will serve as the source for replanting areas where specific forest species have been drastically reduced due to the forest management practices over the last 100 years. We ploughed and fenced the nursery to protect it from livestock and sowed sycamore and rowan that we collected earlier from trees in the project area, as well as fir seeds that we have obtained from adjacent forests. Collection of seeds from autochthonous trees has turned out to be problematic this summer since due to the exceptional drought fructification has been low and most of the seeds are desiccated.

12.12.2012 - Inventory on soil erosion finished

Erosion problems are serious in several clear-cut areas where tractors have pulled logs down the slopes and rain and melting snow have been cutting deep rills into the forest soils. We have measured the density of skidding tracks, the depth and width of rills and also have tried to assess the sufficiency of organic and non-organic material that is available in the vicinity of the degraded areas and that can be used to halt further erosion and to repair the forest floor. The next step is to analyse this field data and to develop a technical plan for the restoration of the forest floor in the areas that were hit worst.

02.12.2012 - Progress on regeneration inventory

Until snowfall interrupted this field activity we made good progress on surveying a first portion of the existing clear-cuts and evaluating the status of natural regeneration. So far we covered about 120 ha in five different areas translating into 116 sample plots of 400 sqm each. Some of the sample plots were extremely difficult to access and to survey due to a thick layer of decaying wood that was left uncared for after logging activities were finished. The inventory will be continued next spring as soon as the snow has melted and access is permitted again.