North Macedonia ready to create huge new national park

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POPOVA SHAPKA, North Macedonia (AP) — After decades of being exploited by loggers, a vast, cross-border area of breathtaking beauty in the Balkans centered on Shar Mountain is close to becoming a national park. It will be one of the largest in Europe. North Macedonian lawmakers are expected to shortly pass a bill on the national park designation. The area of over 240,000 hectares (593,053 acres) that ranges through Albania, North Macedonia and Kosovo is a treasure of natural beauty and diverse and unique wildlife. Shar Mountain has 37 glacial lakes, 25 of them in North Macedonia and the rest in Kosovo. But it has been threatened by illegal logging for years.

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