Phil McKenna, reporting for a piece NOVA Next jointly published with the Big Roundtable:
Twenty-five years earlier, in 1989, the man in front of me had hatched a plan to transform the former no-man’s land that separated Western Europe from the Eastern Bloc into an eco-corridor running through the heart of Europe. It was a preposterous idea. The Iron Curtain had been just that—a series of steel-reinforced barriers. Electrified fences, razor wire, land mines, trip lines, and machine guns: If it could stop, maim, or kill you, the Soviets put it there. Not exactly “eco.”
What’s more, the corridor would bisect one of the most heavily settled and fully domesticated continents on earth. Central Europe’s ecosystems have been so thoroughly reduced that locals don’t even bother hanging window screens.
Yet if returning lynx, wolves, and other wildlife are any indicator, it might just work. If it does, the European Green Belt, as proponents call it, will be one of the greatest conservation success stories of all time.
McKenna has crafted a wonderful story from years of reporting. Well worth a read.