Austrian organizers of off-road competition in Romania fined for entering protected area
The Austrian organizer of the off-road competition SuperKarpata Trophy will be fined RON 50,000 (EUR 10,000) by the Romanian Environmental Guard after tracks of vehicles were found in the protected natural area of Muntele Şes, in Bihor County. Five drivers will also be fined, after being identified by the police.
Inspectors conducted field checks between May 17 and 19 in the area of the protected natural site Muntele Şes, following a complaint regarding unauthorized access and damage to the territory of the protected natural area caused by the SuperKarpata Trophy 2023 off-road event.
The competition took place without the necessary permits and agreements.
"During the field checks carried out on May 17, 2023, traces of off-road vehicles were found on meadows/pastures/private lands within the protected natural area Muntele Şes, despite the fact that the administrator of the protected natural area, the National Agency for Protected Natural Areas (ANANP), did not give its consent or issue any permits for organizing the sports event," say official sources cited by G4Media.
As a result, the competition organizer, Müller - Hartburg Dienstleistungsgesellschaft mbH from Vienna, received a fine of RON 50,000. Five Austrian drivers who participated in the SuperKarpata Trophy competition will also receive fines ranging from RON 5,000 to 10,000 (EUR 1,000 to 2,000) for violating protected natural areas.
The five drivers fined by the Bihor Environmental Guard were identified by the police in Aleșd, within the protected natural area Muntele Şes, after the Free Geto-Dacians Sports Club called emergency services to report that several off-road vehicles were seen in restricted access areas of the protected natural site. Inspectors from the National Environmental Guard - Bihor County branch have sent a request to the Bihor County Police Inspectorate to obtain the addresses of the five participants in the competition who were identified by the police in Aleșd.
"Anyone who intends to violate environmental legislation in this country must bear the consequences of their actions. Therefore, we warn off-road 'touring' enthusiasts from both within the country and abroad that such competitions that cause environmental destruction are subject to strict rules of off-road competitions and are constantly monitored by the National Environmental Guard," stated Florin Bănică, deputy general commissioner of the National Environmental Guard.
In related news, eight tourists who drove ATVs into hunting grounds and alpine pastures in Romania were also fined RON 28,000 (EUR 5,650). The fines were issued by the gendarmes from the Mountain Post of Vama Buzăului.
"We urge all tourists to choose to enjoy nature, landscapes, and the splendor of these places with the intention of protecting and caring for them. We are convinced that a walk in the woods can bring you more joy than a ride in the noise of engines, and the green of the forest is better seen with the naked eye than through the visor of a helmet," the mountain gendarmes conveyed to the tourists, cited by Libertatea.
(Photo source: Garda Nationala de Mediu on Facebook)