A project to create Europe’s largest forested national park aims to protect 100,000 hectares of wilderness as well as boost ecotourism in support of local communities
Up on the hill we spy them: dark, imposing forms moving through the dense forest. It’s a group of bison wandering wild in Romania’s Făgăraș mountains. I stand silently with my guide Răzvan Dumitrache as the animals graze.
This area of Transylvania, at the southern edge of the Carpathian mountains, is among the wildest places in Europe. Brown bears, wolves and lynx roam the forested hillsides – and bison were recently reintroduced after a 200-year absence as part of the work of Foundation Conservation Carpathia. FCC’s ambitions are not small: it aims to create the continent’s largest forested national park. A 101,000- hectare (250,000-acre) wilderness reserve. A Yellowstone for Europe.