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Project Title

Nature conservation plan for Ādaži Military Range

Project Duration



Latvian Fund for Nature


US Environmental Protection Agency

Project Area

Ādaži Military Range


Māris Kreilis








Rīga, Kronvalda Bulvāris 4

LV-1010, Latvia

In May 2001, with the support of the US Environmental Protection Agency, work began on the preparation of a nature conservation plan for the Ādaži Military Range (a training base of the National Armed Forces). This project can be regarded as the continuation of work undertaken in 1999, when the natural values of the Ādaži Range were studied. In the course of preparation of the nature conservation plan, the need for additional fieldwork was highlighted. As a result, the following work was done: 

1.       Heathland and sands ecosystems in the range were evaluated. The role of burning was considered and the regeneration of communities in burnt areas was examined, as was the situation regarding rare plant species and their regeneration in burnt heathlands. Heathland areas utilised with sufficient intensity, which do not overgrow, were distinguished from areas where the tree and shrub cover layer needs to be reduced. It was concluded that burning promotes the regeneration of the heath and does not adversely affect the distribution of rare plant species.

2.        The sites with rare plants species were mapped.

3.       Forest ecosystems in the less-studied areas of the range were evaluated. The natural character of forest biotope structure was considered, as was the effect of military training on the structure of forest biotopes.

4.        Proposals were formulated for zoning the management of natural values. 

In the course of the project, several new specially protected plant species were found, not observed in previous studies: cnidium (Cnidium dubium), taller violet (Viola elatior), capitate rush (Juncus capitatus) and fastigiated gypsophila (Gypsophila fastigiata). New sites were also found for several previously observed specially protected plant species: marsh gentian (Gentiana pneumonant), marsh clubmoss (Lycopodiella inundata), moor-king (Pedicularis sceptrum-carolinum), heath rush (Juncus squarrosus), greyhair grass (Corynephorus canescens), great burnet (Sanquisorba officinalis), small cudweed (Filago minima) and sand pink (Dianthus arenarius). Also found was a very rare plant species, Koeleria grandis, which forms a dry grassland community. Also, detailed mapping was performed of biotopes important for biodiversity: wet heathland, sand and dune meadows, moor grass (Molinia caerulea) meadows, wet pioneer communities of sands and continental dunes.

Within the frame of the project, at Sigulda on 24–25 September a seminar was held under the title ‘The Nature Conservation Plan for the Ādaži Military Range’. The main aims of the seminar were to exchange the latest information with the users of the land, to ascertain the military zoning of the range and to become acquainted with and amend the development plan for the military range and inform the military personnel about current issues in nature conservation in Latvia and specifically at the Ādaži Range. At the seminar, presentations were also given by US environmental and military specialists on the environmental conservation system at US military bases. Twenty-one people participated in the work of the seminar.

The main conclusions reached in the course of the seminar are as follows: 

  • The environmental conservation system established at US army bases can serve as a good example for the resolution of general environmental conservation issues, but the nature conservation measures at the Ādaži Range are much more complicated because of the great diversity of species and biotopes,
  • It is positive that the Ādaži Range Nature Conservation Plan is developing in tandem with the development plan for the range, providing the opportunity to integrate nature conservation requirements and avoid possible contradictions,
  • At the Ādaži Training Base, a special unit has been set up to monitor the territory of the range, and its activities require specific instructions regarding nature conservation.  



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