Making the “European Yellowstone”—Unintended Consequences or Unrealistic Intentions?


  • George Iordachescu IMT School of Advanced Studies, Italy


The Romanian Carpathian Mountains have always been praised for their natural habitats, rich wildlife, and large tracts of old-growth forests. Their landscape has been shaped not only by recent postsocialist transformations but also by centuries of uninterrupted, traditional land-use practices. Still, over the last decade the Southern Carpathians have been turned into a frontier of rewilding and global capital investments in ecotourism facilities. One of the boldest conservationist plans proposed the establishment of a world-class private nature reserve aiming to keep the habitat forever wild while lobbying for strict protective measures. Their strong enforcement has clashed with local livelihoods, historical community associations, and people dependent on the forest.

Author Biography

George Iordachescu, IMT School of Advanced Studies, Italy

George Iordachescu is PhD researcher at the IMT School of Advanced Studies, Lucca, Italy. His doctoral research focuses on the production of wilderness narratives in Eastern Europe and their impact on local livelihoods. He was part of a research team which mapped the forest and pasture commons in the Romanian Carpathians.