The head of the Ministry of Natural Resources, Dmitry Kobylkin, dismissed the director of the Sochi National Park, appointed by the former head of the department, Sergei Donskoy. The personnel decisions of the former minister of ecology were explained by the creation of a single directorate of the national park and the Caucasian reserve - the corresponding order was signed in March. Together with the change of the head, Dmitry Kobylkin postponed the reorganization of the national park.
According to the decision of the head of the department Dmitry Kobylkin, Igor Gutsal was released from the duties of the director of the Sochi National Park FGBU on June 27, Kommersant reported to the Ministry of Natural Resources. Currently, he is supervised by the head of the legal service of the institution Boris Menschikov. The reasons for the personnel decision were not reported to the Ministry of Natural Resources, limiting themselves to the statement that Mr. Gutsal worked as an acting officer for a year. "The new head of the Ministry of Natural Resources, Dmitry Kobylkin, decided to stop his powers," the press officer explained to Kommersant.
The Sochi National Park was established in 1983 to preserve the unique natural complexes of the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus, use them for environmental, recreational, educational and scientific purposes. The park includes 15 forest areas, parks "Arboretum" and "Southern Cultures", the center of leopard reintroduction and the Azov reserve. The area of the national park is 193 thousand hectares, several dozens of tourist routes have been laid along the territory, more than 1.5 million tourists visited the national park last year.
Note that over the past year in the Sochi National Park three times the leaders were changed. In June 2017 and. about. director became Daria Filippova, it happened after the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Russian Federation fired Nikolai Penkovsky, who ran the park since 2002. According to the Accounts Chamber, Mr. Penkovsky admitted violations in the expenditure of budgetary funds. He tried to challenge the dismissal in court, but without success. However, Darya Filippova could not hold on to the leading position - presidential candidate in the Southern Federal District Vladimir Ustinov spoke against her candidacy (see "Kommersant" on August 8, 2017).
As a result, the acting head of the national park in August last year was Deputy Director of the FGBU Igor Gutsal. The fact that the personnel decisions of the former head of the Ministry of Natural Resources Sergei Donskoy were subordinated to the goal of uniting the Sochi National Park and the Caucasus Reserve into a single directorate were spoken by both environmentalists and outside experts. At the same time, the green people were confident that the creation of a single directorate "will lead to the expansion of the construction of ski resorts on the territory of the Sochi National Park and the Caucasus Reserve."
The decision to unite the national park and the reserve was taken by Sergei Donskoy in March 2018: according to the corresponding order of the department, the nature protection areas were to be united in a new structure - FGBU "Reserve Caucasus" ("United Directorate of the Caucasian Biosphere Reserve and Sochi National Park").
As Kommersant learned, the new Minister of Natural Resources Dmitry Kobylkin simultaneously with the dismissal of the former head of the national park postponed the reorganization of the federal institutions "Caucasian Biosphere Reserve" and "Sochi National Park". The unification process was to be completed in July of this year, but, as the employees of the institutions told Kommersant on condition of anonymity, Mr. Kobylkin prolonged the order of reorganization, postponing it until September. The reasons for the decision in the documents sent by the Ministry of Natural Resources to the national park and the reserve are not disclosed, the sources told Kommersant.