Mechanized skidding when cuttings down in the Bialowieza Primeval Forest, 2005 - 2009

Violations: Articles 26 and 27 of Belarus' Specially Protected Wilderness Territories and Sites Act, Article 55 and 63 of the Forest Code of the Republic of Belarus; the environmental balance within the protected forest, and damaging the biological diversity.

Events, facts, documents and evidence: Ecological patterns and modern advanced achievements of wilderness protection science are ignored. Conservation of biological diversity and the sustainable development of forest ecosystems are not seriously taken into consideration. Ecological-friendly technologies and methods of the forest management that are in balance with the forest environment at which the recognition of Belovezhskaya Pushcha as a World Biosphere Reserve and as a World Heritage Site are not applied.
(This was described in details on the earlier pages, such as "Large-scale cutting of forest infected by Bark beetle, 2001 - 2002", "Continuation, 2003" and "Continuation, 2004)".

Mechanized skidding of logs which very damage the soil surface is one of the violations mentioned above.

Our information. Special, ecological-friendly methods of the forest management which do the least damage to the natural processes and the minimal harm within an ecosystem and for biodiversity at Specially Protected Natural Territories (SPNT) should be adapted. That includes specific zones in which the management regime allows the appropriate economic activities. NO HARM should be the main rule for unique natural ecosystems, such as Belovezhskaya Pushcha.

Skidding of timber with the use of heavy tractors leave deep wounds on the ground. The forest letter, soil, living grass layer, bushes, young trees and roots of adult trees are damaged everywhere.

In connection with aforesaid, today the rules of the ecological-friendly forest management in the part related to the skidding of timber define the use of special machines and tractors even in timber enterprises that to minimize the ecological damage. Dragging tracks should not be laid chaotically on wood-cutting areas but should be put in the way that to minimize the damages to the grassy and soil cover. For this purpose covering the skidding path with wood-cut residuals in sites where the soil is very much damaged is a common practice.

Damages of the soil and grassy cover are especially strong in Belovezhskaya Pushcha where the trees of 200 years and older are cut down. The modern practice and technologies of minimization of the ecological damage from logs' skidding are nearly not used there.

These photos show the cutting area with the dragging track.

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(The cutting area with the dragging track; compartment 826, October 28, 2005)

The photos below show the skidding sites with the soil and grassy cover which are very strongly damaged from tractors and logs.

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(Dragging tracks and timber stacks; compartment 826, October 28, 2005)
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(A dragging tracks; compartment 802, September 14, 2005)

These photos give to understand what happens to young trees if they appear on the path of a skidding tractorů

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(Young trees near the skidding track;
compartment 826, October 28, 2005)