Lake Baikal - is a lake in Eastern Siberia, the maximum depth is more than 1600 metres, the length of Lake Baikal is 636 km, the width is from 25 to 80 km. There is the Olkhon island near the northwest shore of lake Baikal. Olkhon is the heart of ancient stories and historical legendaries.
Municipal unit, Balagansky District of Irkutsk Region, is located in the central part of Irkutsk Region out of the main ways.The Balagansky District of Irkutsk Region is relatively underpopulated and economically insignificant on a scale of Irkutsk Region. The distance from Balagansk settlement, the district centre, to the nearest railway sation Zalari is 86 km and to Irkutsk is 281 km.
The Balagansky District of Irkutsk Region has old history. But after flooding of the Bratsk Reservoir the Balagansky District was eliminated in 1962 and its territory was merged in the Ust-Udinsky District of Irkutsk Region and the Zalarinsky District of Irkutsk Region. The Balagansky District of Irkutsk Region was recreated in 1989. In 2000 the Charter of the municipal unit of the Balagansky District of Irkutsk Region was adopted.
The Balagansky District of Irkutsk Region consists of 7 municipal rural administrations integrating Balagansk Settlement and other 12 rural settlements.The territory of the Balagansky District of Irkutsk Region is 634 700 hectares.
Land resources of the Balagansky District of Irkutsk Region include forest lands (83%) and agricultural lands (17%), lands under water bodies (8.6%) and lands under bogs (0.1%).
There is 61.86 hectares of the whole territory of the District per person. The Balagansky District of Irkutsk Region is agricultural and good for forage production, short duration corn growing, vegetables and potato growing and others. Agricultural resources of the Balagansky District are mainly used for providing by cattle raising by forage reserves and locals by agricultural products. There is a lack of grain for breadmaking. The Balagansky District is in risky agriculture region for grain crop production because of droughts.
Forest Resources of the Balagansky District of Irkutsk Region - the main keeper of forest resources is the Balagansky forestry farm. Total timber resources of the Balagansky District are 91 mln. m3, softwood resources are 69.6%. First and second-group forests occupy about 10% of the territory. First-group forests consist of water-conservation forests along the shores of the Bratsk Reservoir. Average age of softwoods is 102 years.
The recreational potential of the Balagansky District of Irkutsk Region is average for Irkutsk Region because of favourable climate, the Bratsk Reservoir, Tourist Centres and guest houses which are good for water activities (sailing, boating and others). About 10 % of population of the Balagansky District has need of health resort treatment in Pensionates.
The creation of the Balagansko-Nukutsky Bird Reserve can lead to increase the recreational potential.
The population of the Balagansky District has been declined from 11 000 inhabitants to 10 300 inhabitants in 2002. The population of Balagansk is 4, 500 inhabitants. Natural population decline and migration outflow in the Balagansky District are being observed for the last years.
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