Cutting down of living trees in bark beetle centers, 2007

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: It has already been shown earlier that numerous violations of the nature protection law and forestry-technological standards for cuttings down in spruce stands growing in protected compartments have been committed in the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" since the very beginning of bark beetles' mass development and their outbreaks' appearance (2001). In particular, an attempt to start sanitary clear cuttings in pure and mixed spruce stands (2001), felling of giant living spruces as traps for bark beetle (2002) (and see also here, 2005), felling of living pines of old age (2002) (and see also here, 2003, and here, 2004), clear cutting down of living coniferous forest of old age (2002), felling of scientific permanent plots set up for monitoring of the forest (2002) (and see also here, 2003, and here, 2004), intensive cuttings in forest stands infected by bark beetle (2001) (and see also here, 2003, and here, 2004) have been undertaken. The situation such as mentioned above is inadmissible in specially protected natural areas.

By 2006 and 2007 the outbreak of the bark beetles' mass multiplication in Belovezhskaya Pushcha has come in the main to the end thanks to functioning the natural factors, although the forestry management made all possible for its prolongation (!?) (violations of the ecological balance in the forest and forestry-technological standards for cuttings down are the powerful factor favorable for development and dissemination of bark beetles in space and time). In this connection it could be expected for the improvement of the situation concerning cuttings down in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. However, inspections in spruce stands' areas made at the end of 2007 have revealed that the quantity of ecological and forestry-technological violations for cuttings down has decreased but still exist.

A cutting down spot in the quarter 843 where the forest stand with a big share of spruce trees was growing is below shown. Serious violations were committed there in 2005. In particular, giant old-aged spruce trees as traps for bark beetles were felled. (Ecological aspects of the harm from large-scale and wrong cuttings down in spruce stands affected by bark beetles are described here).

The cutting down of dead spruces, lost trees and partly living spruces has been conducted in this site in autumn of 2007..

Photos below show the plot where cuttings down of the spruce stand were conducted.

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(The cutting down spot; compartment 843, November 04, 2007)

These shots show stumps abundantly gumming that is identified by the intensive lateral belt of the white colour. It can be the indicator that the cut down spruce trees still had a sufficiently big reserve of pitch (and, hence, the living power) to resist bark beetles.

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(Stumps of living spruces; compartment 843, November 04, 2007)

These shots show stumps without pitch secretion. This means that by the time of cutting down the spruces were already dead and there was no conflict with the nature protection law to fell them.

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(Stumps of dead spruces; compartment 843, November 04, 2007)

Cut-wood residuals spruce branches in heaps, many of which have green needles - are show here.

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(Spruce branches with green needles; compartment 843, November 04, 2007)

Inadmissibility of cuttings down of spruce trees which are characterized by feeble features of the bark beetles' attack in Belovezhskaya Pushcha is caused by the priority of tasks on preservation of biodiversity. The point is that this kind of spruce trees can resist bark beetles and can survive in the conditions of the bark beetle outbreak. Then the chances are rather big to get such spruce trees giant in the future.
This photo show one of spruce trees of this kind which has gone through the bark beetles' attack.

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(A survived spruce tree; compartment 843, November 04, 2007)