About The SMPS
The Shirakami Mountains Preservation Society

The Shirakami Mountains, located in the northern part of Honshu Island, is one of Japan's very few remaining natural forests consisting primarily of beech trees. The Shirakami beech forests boast a healthy diversity of approximately 500 species of vegetation. The region is also home to many vertebrates, including two of Japan's indigenous mammals? Japanese mountain goats and monkeys. The Shirakami Mountains also provide a habitat for golden eagles and black woodpeckers, which are threatened with extinction now. There are over 2000 species of insects. The rich diversity of the natural ecosystems of the Shirakami Mountains makes it a valuable piece of Japan's ecological heritage.

The Shirakami Mountains Preservation Society (SMPS) wants to help preserve the natural beauty of the Shirakami Mountains and, at the same time, provide opportunities for ecology-minded people to explore the region. At the moment, there is a serious shortage of skilled ecology guides and the need for creating a guide-training program is obvious. SMPS has the following plan for a guide program.

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Shirakami Volunteer Ecology Guide Program:


(1)   The Shirakami ecology guide preparatory committee chooses seminar instructors and organizes training programs.

(2)   Recruiting applicants:
The Program trains 10 to 15 guides each year. Fifty to 75 skilled guides will be produced in five years. Ecology tours began in 1999.

(3) Public cooperation:
We want to seek understanding and cooperation by local and national
governmental agencies, apply for a public grant, and set up an administrative office in Aomori.

(4) Office functions:
Office functions include lectures, panel discussions, workshops, seminars, ecology tours, guidebooks, Internet web pages, videos & slides, publications on the Shirakami. The administrative office is scheduled to open in 2000. If you
fre interested, please feel free to get in touch with me [shirakami@hello.to].

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Katsuto  Nagai

Director, SMPS