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