History of Oze
History of Nature Conservation in Oze
1903
Plan for the first hydroelectric dam was announced
1934 Oze area was designated as a part of the Nikko National Park
1949 Ozehozonkiseidomei (Oze Conservation Association) was established in order to prevent the implementation of a development plan for hydroelectric power in Oze
1952 Boardwalk construction started
1953 The core area of Oze was designated as a special protection zone
Around
1955
A drastic increase in the number of hikers occurred due to an unprecedented hiking boom; degradation caused by people trampling on the vegetation; sightseeing road plan
1960 Designated as a Special Natural Monument of Japan
1966 Restoration work for the moor vegetation started
1971 Roadway construction between Oshimizu and Numayama was called off
1972 Campaign to urge visitors to bring back their own garbage started
1972 Campaign to urge visitors to bring back their own garbage started earlier than in any other national park;
The next year more than 1,400 trash bins were removed;
Nature conservation activities that started in Oze spread throughout the nation
1974 Controls over private car use started for the first time in Japan
Around
1981
Drainage measures (voluntarily refraining from the use of soap and shampoo, installation of combined septic tanks, etc.)
1985 Introduction of a tipping system at public restrooms
1989 -1997 Closure of the trails on the east side of Mt. Shibutsu
1990 Placement of mats for removing invasive plant seeds from footwear at the entrances to the mountains
1992 Start of a reservation-only system for mountain lodges
1995 Establishment of the Oze Preservation Foundation
2005 Inscribed as a registered wetland under the Ramsar Convention
2007 Establishment of the Oze National Park


Efforts to promote the conservation and appropriate utilization of Oze
Many relevant institutions/organizations have been making efforts
Ministry of the Environment (MOE), Forestry Agency, local governments (three prefectures, one city, two villages) , Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), OZE Corporation, Oze mountain lodge union, Oze Preservation Foundation, nature conservation organizations, etc.
Councils and conferences have been established in order to discuss
and coordinate practical issues ... 25 organizations
Oze as a whole Oze National Park Council, liaison conference among people concerned with Oze
Individual cases Conference on deer countermeasures convention at Oze National Park, Yamanohana area Black Bear countermeasures convention, Katashina village transportation measures liaison conference, Mt. Shibutsu conservation survey convention, Oze certified guide conference, Katashina village rescue team, Oze conservation association
Issues of each area Ozenuma area management conference, Yunotani-onsenkyo/Oze route revitalization committee, etc.
Major efforts
(1) Facilities improvement
(2) Vegetation restoration, etc.
(3) Volunteer activities
(4) Control of the use of private cars
(5) Campaign to urge visitors to bring back their own garbage, etc.
(6) Drainage countermeasures
(7) Information dissemination and awareness-raising
(8) Prevention of the destruction of vegetation by Sika Deer
(9) Conservation and management of Black Bears
(1) Facilities improvement
Establishment of two visitor centers (Gumma Prefecture, MOE)
Oze Preservation Foundation manages and operates them on consignment
Interpretive nature programs, vegetation restoration, maintenance and management of public restrooms, local base functions
Public restrooms in 19 places (15 places in the former Oze area)
MOE, Fukushima prefecture, Gumma prefecture, Hinoemata village, Minamiaizu village, TEPCO, etc.
A tipping system has been introduced in most of the restrooms and the tips are used for the maintenance and management of the restrooms
Improvement of the approximately 65 km of boardwalk
MOE (2 km), Gumma pref. (11 km), Fukushima pref. (21 km), Hinoemata village (9 km), Minamiaizu village (2 km), TEPCO (20 km)
(2)Facilities improvement
Vegetation restoration by Fukushima prefecture, Gumma prefecture, TEPCO, and the MOE
In 1966, Fukushima prefecture and Gumma prefecture started the activities and TEPCO and the MOE joined in the activities later
Mt. Shibutsu conservation surveys
In1989, the mountain trails were closed and improvements, vegetation restoration, investigation of the causes of the degradation, and conservation measures were started
(3) Volunteer activities
Oze volunteer (Oze Preservation Fund) 1996 -
Activities started in 1996. About 370 people registered as volunteers
Awareness-raising activities at the entry points to the mountains, vegetation restoration activities, nature conservation activities, interpretive nature programs
Oze Park Volunteers (MOE)
55 people registered as volunteers
Surveys of the distribution and behavior of the Sika Deer, vegetation grazing and prey-predator investigations, awareness-raising activities at the new entrances, improvements to simple boardwalks
Oze nature conservation instructors (nature conservation organizations)
Guiding groups of visitors
(4) Controls on the use of private cars
From 1974 controls were implemented at the entrances on the Fukushima prefecture and Gumma prefecture sides
In order to reduce illegal parking, to mitigate traffic jams and crowded boardwalks and restrooms, and to conserve the nature
(5) Campaign to urge visitors to bring back their own garbage (1972 -)
(6) Drainage countermeasures
Installation of combined septic tanks at each mountain lodge, public restroom, visitor center, etc.
Improvement of facilities to discharge the wastewater
Introduction of a tipping system at public restrooms
Efforts by each mountain lodge
Limitation on the maximum number of guests (1966 - ), Prohibition on the use of soap/shampoo (1972 - ), Setting of a no bath day (1990 - 2000), Introduction of a reservations-only system (1992 - )
(7) Information dissemination and raising public awareness
Interpretive nature activities at the visitor centers
Nature observation, slide shows, lectures to groups
Oze nature guide system (Oze Preservation Foundation)
Construction of networks of Oze guides, certified guide system
(8) Countermeasures against the destruction of vegetation by Sika Deer
Seriousness of the digging by the deer and its impact on the vegetation
Efforts by the Oze deer countermeasures convention, etc.
(9) Conservation and management of Black Bears
Conservation and management measures and biological research on the Black Bear
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Preserve and enjoy our Oze together