In the article author discusses problem of connection between environmental policy, social and cultural life in Poland. When talking about sustainable development, we should keep in mind not only statistic data related to local communities but also meanings that they put to natural environment. Do authorities take citizens opinion into consideration at all? Do ecological organizations see correlation between protection of nature and protection of cultural values? Is creating such a link possible at all? These and many other questions are considered according to field research conducted by author in Białowieża.