Artvin Çoruh Üniversitesi Orman Fakültesi Dergisi (Nov 2011)
Investigating Temporal Changes on Transhumance Practices in the Uplands of the Firtina Basin and Determining Some Environmental Issues
It is clear that demographic differentiation especially in rural areas and increasing alternative tourism activities in the Eastern Black Sea Region have been causing some social, cultural, economical and environmental changes both on uplands and transhumance activities. However, there is insufficient data on investigating these changes scientifically especially in the Eastern Black Sea where uplands and transhumance activities are important. Therefore, in this study, we tried to investigate how and why transhumance activities have been changing temporally by applying questionnaires and recording personal conversation with the local people who are still practicing transhumance activities in nine upland points chosen within the Fırtına Basin. In addition, we aimed to determine some ensued environmental issues and their reasons in the uplands. According to the results from the questionnaires, both the uplands themselves and the culture of the transhumance activities have been changing in general compared to the past. For example, it was determined that the rate of open chalets (wooden houses) has dropped up to %15 and the number of livestock and animal husbandry practices have decreased in substantial amount, while number of people visiting the uplands with a recreational/touristic purpose has risen up to %63. Moreover, associated with the increase and diversification in tourism activities in the region, expansion of road building and structuring has reached the upper parts of the basins, setting up pressure for damaging vegetation cover and polluting natural resources such as water and soil.