All moor locations within the bounds of the “Erzgebirge/Vogtland (Ore Mountain/Vogt County)” natural park were systematically documented in the years 1999 and 2000. The Landesamt für Umwelt, Landwirtschaft und Geologie (State Office for the Environment, Agriculture, and Geology or LfULG) issued a work order for the execution of a preliminary study to lay the foundation for the major nationwide project “Ore Mountain Moors”. All peat beds covering more than one hectare with a turf layer of at least 80 centimeters were included. The study aimed to record the current status of Ore Mountain moor and peat bed locations, put together a catalog of measures to be taken accompanied by a cost estimate, and prioritize moor locations for measure implementation.
The results from the preliminary study are sobering - almost half of the former moor locations in the Ore Mountains were so dramatically altered and destroyed that it would not longer be possible to restore them. Another 30 percent were badly damaged. Only four percent were determined to be close to their natural state or only slightly damaged. About 20 percent of the former moors are moderately damaged or are in sufficient stages of regeneration.
Human intervention was necessary in order to save, maintain, and improve the condition of the remaining moors and moors capable of being restored. Measures necessary to achieve this will be individually executed for each moor, since the existing conditions in each moor are unique.
When considering the project goals, it is important to differentiate between the goals of the project as a whole and the goals set for each individual project. The project as a whole strives to preserve the at-risk environments of the “high moor” throughout the Ore Mountains. This should result in the creation of a wide-reaching network of high-quality biotopes that will promote the survival of rare animal and plant species unique to the moor. It will only be possible to achieve this goal, however, through the successful revitalization efforts of each individual project and therefore by achieving the goals of the individual projects.