Social Media Posts Lead to Hefty Fines in Šumava’s Quiet Zones

Pavel Orholz

People venturing off the beaten path into the quiet zones of Šumava face fines of up to a hundred thousand crowns. Interestingly, they often incriminate themselves by sharing photos on social media from prohibited areas, such as near Roklanská cottage, Jezerní Mountain, or Bílá Strže. The National Park Administration annually handles dozens of cases based on such photos.

Facebook and Instagram have been prompts for park rangers for several years. A spokesman for the park administration, Jan Dvořák, told Novinky that these cases are severe because undisciplined tourists lure others to also venture into forbidden places. “It’s essentially an invitation for others. People on social media continue to share it; they want to go there,” Dvořák noted.

The park administration gets to offenses in various ways. “Either colleagues from the state administration who lead proceedings come across such photos, or I do when I follow social media. Then we have no choice but to act because we see where the photos were taken,” the spokesman explained.

The park administration has already handed out several higher fines. “We even have a recidivist here who shared photos from quiet zones two years ago. He was even thrown out of several Facebook groups. We tracked him down with the help of the Czech Police, and he got a fine of tens of thousands of crowns,” Dvořák mentioned.

Dvořák emphasized that quiet areas with entry bans are created by nature. “These are certainly not randomly selected areas. It is about protecting endangered animals and endangering a biotope, such as peat bogs,” Dvořák stated. According to him, thanks to the quiet zones in Šumava in recent years, the capercaillie has been doing well. “We are truly convinced that if we allowed entry into some quiet zones, we would not now have such a rich population of grouse, which is now over five hundred,” Dvořák remarked.