Signing of the State Treaty b_schreiben_300-3e42cf24
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20 years Gesäuse National Park

Let's celebrate together!

We want to make 2022, 20 years after the foundation of the Gesäuse National Park, a special year.
Here you can find out which events accompany the anniversary year. We look forward to seeing you!

26.10.2022, Gstatterboden

20 Years - Celebration

Celebrate the 20th birthday of the Gesäuse National Park with us! Food, drink and musical entertainment will be provided!

On National Day, 26 October 2002, Governor Klasnic and Minister Molterer signed the foundation of Styria's only National Park. 20 years later, on the birthday of the Gesäuse National Park, we want to review the past, eventful years, take a look into the future and, of course, celebrate in a fitting manner!

Let's celebrate together!

21.10.2022-26.10.2022, Graz-Gstatterboden

20 Years - Hike

Hike from the provincial capital "Graz" to the national park capital "Gstatterboden".

Hike with us: the first kilometre, individual stages, the entire route or the last four kilometres.

Hike from the provincial capital "Graz" to the National Park capital "Gstatterboden" for the anniversary celebration
Start: Friday, 21.10.2022 in Graz-Andritz, 12:00 hrs.
Finish: Wednesday, 26.10.2022 in Gstatterboden, 16:00.

All info about the hike
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Chronicle of the Gesäuse National Park

On the occasion of our 20th anniversary in 2022, we have rummaged through the archives and highlighted the highlights of nature conservation in the Gesäuse. Browse through the long history of Styria's only national park - well before its founding on 26.10.2002! Read here the full story!


20 years Gesäuse National Park

On 26.10.2022, the 20th birthday of the only Styrian national park, we will duly celebrate the Gesäuse National Park. Always stay up to date about our anniversary events in our Calendar!


Biotope protection forest – a milestone

Can we leave the forest to itself? National parks usually allow woods to develop freely and we are no exception to the rule. Silvicultural intervention is not necessary and, in compliance with the law, forest wilderness has been allowed to develop naturally on approx. 85% of the national parks area and approx. 70% of the pure forest area in Gesäuse National Park since 2018 – a milestone for nature conservation in the Gesäuse!


Founding meeting of the Youth Advisory Council, sponsord by GRAWE sidebyside

The first members: Teresa Garstenauer, Sabrina Leitold, Jasmin Maunz, Anja Gruber, Fabian Gruber, Nora Landl - more information about the youth advisory council also here.


Game management in Gesäuse National Park is lead-free

The lead-free rifle bullets used in the Gesäuse National Park since autumn 2012 consist exclusively of copper alloys which, according to current scientific findings, are completely harmless to humans and animals. All rifle ammunition used by professional hunters was converted to copper bullets and the project was scientifically monitored until the end of the 2015 hunting year.


More space for natural waters

The eponymous torrent in the Johnsbach valley used to flood the entire valley floor of the Zwischenmäuer section from Silberreith to the stream bridge during floods. In order to secure the access road to the village of Johnsbach, cuttings, straightening, invert sills, falls and wire groynes were constructed between 1951 and 1974. As early as 1999, during the preparations for the founding of the Gesaeuse National Park, recommendations were made for the revitalization of the hard-banked Johnsbach. Significant improvements for this habitat were made as part of the LIFE-Project. Significant improvements for this habitat were implemented within the framework of the LIFE-project between 2006 and 2010. Artificial falls and structures were removed, the estuary area was designed close to nature and widening sections were created. You can experience the Johnsbach river on a hike at the Wild John Themed Trail. .


Start for the ecological network

The Kalkalpen and Gesäuse National Parks, as well as the Dürrenstein Wilderness Area, begin cooperation to ensure ecological connectivity in the area as a whole. The area is declared a pilot region for ecological connectivity under the Alpine Convention.


Construction willow dome and pavilion

With the Weidendom, a large outdoor visitor center is being built near the mouth of the Johnsbach, which will be supplemented over the years by themed trails and other facilities, such as the award-winning walkable ecological footprint. The small village of Gstatterboden will be upgraded with the pavilion and the construction of a bypass.


Birth of the Gesäuse National Park

Styria has its first national park. After long fights, attempts and thwarts. The international recognition is not long in coming, already on 05.12.2003 the Gesäuse National Park is also highly official before the eyes of the IUCN a national park of category II.


A club goes all out

The "Gesäuse National Park Association", which urges for the establishment of a Gesäuse National Park, is founded. A feasibility study is decided upon. But resistance also emerges. Critics who fear excessive restrictions on use in the area of jad, forestry and alpine farming join together in a so-called "Schutzgemeinschaft". The result of the feasibility study is available and it certifies the feasibility. However, there is still disagreement at the local level. The citizens are divided into supporters and opponents. So in 2001, a grassroots democratic instrument was used and the local population was given the floor. A referendum should and will bring clarity.


The Year of the National Parks

1996 brings decisive changes for all four national parks still in the making. The Danube Floodplain National Park is opened, the Upper Austrian Parliament passes the National Park Act for a Limestone Alps National Park, in the Thayatal mayors of fifteen affected municipalities present a resolution for the establishment of a Thayatal National Park - and in the Gesäuse, too, political forces are bundled to push through this Styrian national park. Here, too, mayors openly declare their support for a Gesäuse National Park in a declaration of intent. In the same year, a non-partisan motion is introduced in the National Council. This prompts the provincial government to make a fundamental decision. They want this national park.


A natural monument

The Enns River in the Gesäuse Entrance is declared a natural monument. This would put a stop to previous and future power plant projects once and for all. The "legal emergency brake" is applied. Only one year later, the declaration is made: the Enns in the area of the Gesäuse entrance officially operates as a natural monument.


Again and again hydropower

In 1986, another project was presented that wanted to use the hydroelectric power of the Enns for itself. Resistance was formed, and this time people joined together in an interest group called "Platform Gesäuse".


Speculation and planning for hydropower

Plans for the utilization of hydropower in the area of the Enns-Gesäuse entrance are being developed. Variant A envisages eight barrages on the Enns, while variant B aims to divert the Enns from the Gesäuse entrance through a tunnel in the Buchstein massif into a reservoir near St. Gallen. A power plant in Weißenbach on the Enns would then handle the water. A megaproject, which for the time being can be thwarted by the resistance of alpine and nature conservation associations as well as by the emergency years of the interwar period. However, this will not be the last time that such plans for the utilization of the Enns hydropower are conjured up again from the drawer. The hydropower hype of the post-war period does not stop at the Gesäuse. As in all other National Park regions, there are also great plans for the hydropower utilization of the Enns. In the mid-1950s, a power plant with weir, diversion tunnel and reservoir is built near Hieflau at the eastern end of the Gesäuse.


First proposals for Styrian nature reserve

Initially, such a park was to be created in the Niedere Tauern, but it failed due to the resistance of local landowners. No one yet suspects that Styria will have its own protected area almost a century later - in the form of a national park in the Gesäuse.


First measure to protect the Gesäuse landscape

It is the founding year of the Steiermärkische Landesforste, which acquires large parts of the Gesäuse to prevent land speculation and thus removes them from the speculative mass.