The Swiss National Reserve is a strictly protected environment, where plants and animals evolve of their own accord and where natural processes can play themselves out fully.
The protected reserve that was founded 100 years ago by the far-sighted pioneers has become a treasured biotope: the premier Swiss national reserve and the oldest in the Alps. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) awarded the Swiss National Reserve a ‘Category I’ rating (the highest level – [i.e.] a total protection area) thus placing it in the ‘champions league’ of nature reserves. But this high level of protection also comes with strict conditions. For example, visitors cannot leave the designated trails, nor may anyone pick flowers, cut lawns, disturb or injure any animals or cut down trees. The natural environment must be completely left alone and cannot be modified or tampered with in any way by human intervention. This goes much further than just the protection of species: the whole environment and its natural processes are protected from any outside interventions and this also applies to fallen trees, avalanches and results of possible landslides. This holistic and single-minded philosophy was the fundamental guiding principle at the founding of the Swiss National Reserve on August 1, 1914, guaranteeing its future development.