BOLU - Radikal
Popular Abant Lake, in the northwestern province of Bolu, risks being completely filled in with stones and earth within 10 years.
�The Abant Lake Natural Park is in danger due to the crowds visiting and the erosion that pushes the land into the lake,� said Beşir Yüksel, an academic at Düzce University.
Yüksel is carrying out research in collaboration with Environment and Forestry Ministry engineers and ministry officials. �The juniper, pine and fir trees inside the park will not be able to survive if no measure is taken,� said Yüksel.
Damage from crowds of visitors is not the only problem the lake faces. An extended drought is also threatening the park. �There has been 30 percent extra evaporation in the lake each year since 2005,� said Yüksel, claiming that the extra evaporation would eventually kill the plants.
According to Yüksel there is, however, a solution. �There should be a serious master plan. The people's entrance into the forest should be planned. The goats and cattle are free to roam inside the forest, but people enter the forest from anywhere and their trekking harms the land and plants in the forest and leads to erosion,� said Yüksel.
He added that the roots of plants in the forest, which should be at least 30 centimeters underground, are currently completely above ground. Yüksel claimed that the entrance of animals and people to at-risk places in the park should be forbidden.