Hutsul Beskyd

Hutsul Beskyd [Гуцульський Бескид; Hutsulskyi Beskyd]. (Map: Carpathian Mountains, Division.) A part of the mountain system of the Beskyds situated between the Prut River valley in the west, the Suceava River valley in the southeast, the outer limits of the Carpathian Mountains in the northeast, and the Zhabie-Selietyn Depression in the southwest. It rises steeply from its base (300–400 m) above Subcarpathia, and its peaks attain heights of 800 m at its periphery to 1,500 m in its interior. The Hutsul Beskyd is highest in the southwest, where such peaks as Mount Luchyna (1,464 m), Mount Hordii (1,478 m), Mount Kamenystyi (1,369 m), and Mount Ihrets (1,313 m) are located. Its topography, with its well-defined crests, is similar to that of the neighboring Gorgany Mountains. As in the other Beskyds, a latticed structure is formed there by longitudinal ridges, which alternate with parallel valleys, and the transverse valleys of the Prut River, Cheremosh River, Suceava River, Pistynka River, and Seret (Siret) River. As in other parts of the Carpathians inhabited by the Hutsuls, settlements there are scattered and can be found at the highest altitudes. Towns, such as Deliatyn, Pechenizhyn, Pystyn, Kosiv, Kuty, and Vyzhnytsia, are situated in the foothills. Many of the forests have been cleared and replaced by extensive pastures and hayfields, and animal husbandry is the main form of agriculture. Historically the western, Galician, part of the Hutsul Beskyd has been more densely settled and more deforested; in the eastern, Bukovynian, part the erstwhile prevalence of large estates obstructed free colonization. In the Galician part cultivated land constitutes 9 percent, hayfields and pastures 54 percent, and forest 34 percent of the total land area; the population density is 72 per sq km. In the Bukovynian part the respective figures are 8 percent, 26 percent, and 64 percent, and the density is 47 per sq km.

Volodymyr Kubijovyč

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 2 (1988).]

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