TIS Association

TISgold150TIS - Independent Association of Friends of Nature -

is the parent organisation of Hucul Club. As related on the page about the saving of the hucul breed, members of TIS played a pivotal role immediately before and during the time when Hucul Club was founded. Their work, begun more than 35 years ago, survived even the 10-year interruption of TIS's operations during the "normalisation" period of the communist era, and continues to this day. The word "tis" means the yew tree, seen in the organization's logo. The name was chosen because the yew is a threatened and protected species in the Czech republic and an interesting conifer in its own right. Capitalised, as an acronym, in Czech it also stands for three characteristics that members ought to posses, namely patient endurance, intelligence, and fortitude.
TIS is the oldest nongovernmental organisation in the Czech Republic. Initiated by O. Leisky, it was founded in 1958, first as a branch of the National Museum Society (a cultural organisation with a long tradition in the country). TIS adopts the ideals propounded by A. Schweizer, E.T.Seton, M.Tyrs, T.G.Masaryk and A.B.Svojsik, with the aim to develop a modern approach to life, a harmonious, knowledgeable relationship with nature and the environment--biosophy. The guiding ideas of this approach are summarised in
The Great Law poem, originally created mainly for the youngest members of the organisation.

TIS's accomplishments include:

Successful completion of more than 30 country-wide ecological field research projects
Professional documentation of natural features leading to the creation of several protected areas, within the country an abroad; for examle, the Sumava Protected Landscape Area in the CR, the Tassili National Park in central Sahara, and others
Surveys and documentation of Czech and Slovak caves and chasms, carried out by the Karst Section
Organisation of country-wide campaigns such as the Day for the Birds, the Trees for the Republic, and Conservation Days (now morphed into the Earth Day)
Three Festivals of Natural History Films and three grand exhibitions-- Bird Protection, Our Nature in Photography, and Environmental Conservation, which gave rise to the current Ecofilm festival
A two-year "Nature Guard" training program for volunteer wardens, and more than 100 ecology summer camps
Sixteen scientific research expeditions to several continents, more than 200 bus tours/field trips to nature reserves and various interesting natural areas at home and abroad, and many other ecological field trips
Hundreds of professional and popular lectures,currently in the New Millennium cycle which started in 1989
During 1979-1989 TIS went underground, following its official dissolution by the communist regime

TIS also

- was the first organisation in the country to publicly warn about the dangers of pesticides (Silent Spring 1966)
- saved from demolition a small run-of-the-stream hydroelectic plant in the Jeseniky Mtns, today a technology heritage item, and successfully operated the plant for many years
- organised four state-wide and one international conference, two concerning health issues, co-ordinated by the Health Section {now called Collegium on Ecology and Health)


In Memoiam

MabOn November 22, 2011, RNDr. Milada Leiska, zoologist emerita of Czech State Nature Conservancy died peacefully in Prague at the age of 87. She was born in the village of Nucice, but lived her entire eventfule life in Prague. During WW2 she suffered through the so-called total deployment in the arms industry, after the war she graduated with a doctorate in Natural Sciences. Her excellent dissertation concerned poultry parasitology, but soon afterward Dr Leiska moved to field work with the State Nature Conservancy, in the areas of zoology and landscape ecology. She was instrumental in the establishment of many nature reserves, with excellent photographic documentation. In addition, she became involved in voluntary conservation work and the then just starting extension activities. She wrote one of the first manuals of Bird Protection and drew identification plates of our raptors. She also authored a scientific guide to natural history of Krivoklatsko region. And she was strongly involved in the education of youg naturalists. Her education was rounded out by study trips to France, Belgium, Italy, Germany, former Soviet Union, China, Mongolia, the Sahara, USA, Rumania etc. She brought up her son, Ing Leander Leisky, in the spirit of love of nature, which led to him devoting his entire work carreer to date to the rescue of the endangered Hucul horse, (an activity in which he joined his father). To the little known talents of Dr. Leiska belonged her abilities as excellent illustrator and outstanding reciter. She will be missed by all.


In 2012 we shall remember

150 years of the Sokol organization. Started under the name of Prague Gymnastic Association, Sokol took for its own the motto of "mens sana in corpore sano" and emphasized the best patriotic characteristics. Four times over the years the organization has been banned by totalitarian regimes, yet survived, even abroad on all the world's continents. Re-established again in 1990, Sokol continued the traditional program, connected with the educational goals of bringing up a person responsible for himself, his community, and the democratic country.

75 years ago Madeleine Albright was born in Prague, Smichov, as Jana Korbelova. As the United States Secretary of State, she has aided the renewal of our country as a democratic state.

35 years ago Charta 77 was founded.

70 years ago, Lidice and Lezaky were destroyed by the nazi, and the terror of the Heydrichiad began.

And the following jubilees recall authors of adventure literature for young people whose work significantly related to Nature:
 70th anniversary of death of Otakar Batlicka
170th anniversary of birth (and 100th anniversary of death) of Karl May.

The 2010 anniversasries include:

125 years from the birth of professor Frantisek Bilek
111 years from the birth of Ing Bohumil Tichota
100 years from the birth of Mrs Joy Adamson
 and the 85th birthday of Otakar Leisky, the founder of TIS and Hucul Club

 In 2009, TIS remembers several anniversaries:

TIS-PF200950 years of the country-wide bird protection efforts, started by the Apri 1, for the Bird's Day event (1959)

45 years since the first post-WW2 nature photography exposition at the National Museum in Prague (1964)

35 years since the completion of a thorough conservation survey of uranium deposit areas near Hamr by Ceska Lipa (1974)

30 years of the official dissolution of TIS by communist authorities (1979)

25 years since Hucul Club distance ride to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the 1944 Slovak National Uprising (Banska Bystrica to Prague, under the auspices of TJ Aster) (1984)

20th anniversary of the victory for freedom and democracy in the Czech Republic, and official reinstatement of TIS (1989)


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