Cutting down Scientific Permanent Plots for forest monitoring (2004), continuation

Infringements: Clauses 25, 26 and 27 of the Law of the Republic of Belarus «About Special Protected Natural Territories and Objects» are violated; Clauses 1 and 55 of «Forest Codes» of the Republic of Belarus are violated; annihilation of Scientific Permanent Plots for long-term monitoring; cutting of the forest at the Scientific Permanent Plots; impossibility of continuation of forest monitoring; violation of the ecological balance within the protected forest; infliction of damage to biological diversity.

Events, facts, documents and evidences: As was described in earlier pages ("Cutting down of Scientific Permanent Plots for forest monitoring, May - December 2002" and "Cutting down Scientific Permanent Plots for forest monitoring (2003), continuation") intensive and large-scale fellings conducted by the administration of the National Park, headed by general director Nickolai Bambiza, lead to destruction of many highly protected permanent scientific plots, which had been set up for forest monitoring and scientific research over the last decades. Trees on these plots, affected by Bark beetle or thrown down by a huge storm, were felled in 2001 - 2003. This action is an intervention which should be classified as an infringement to the legislation on nature protection. Permanent plot 38 in compartment 708D was completely destroyed by the illegal clear cuttings of the living forest. This is the FIRST CASE of vandalism concerning scientific permanent plots in Belovezhskaya Pushcha on such a large scale since the Second World War.

"Felling of living Pines of old age" and "Felling of living coniferous forest of old age") had been opened up to the national public and the international society a grandiose scandal raised (see articles "Belovezhskaya Pushcha: They go on logging it out, on and on and on ." by Heorhi Kazulka, "The cutting of best living old-age forest in the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" is carried out now" by Valentina Kozlovich, "Belovezhskaya Pushcha: a chance for its survival" by Yulia Dranchuk and ""Talibs" are sole managers of the Belovezhskaya Pushcha" by Alexander Khilimon) and fellings of the living forest conducted in an open form were suspended. However, the destruction of scientific permanent plots was not stopped (see "Cutting down Scientific Permanent Plots for forest monitoring, 2003, continuation").

The administration of the National Park strictly limits the access to the territory of the Park to independent experts, ecologists and public activists. In this way the illegal activities are rather well hidden. In despite of these regulations some scientific permanent plots could be inspected in 2004. These inspections confirmed that the destruction of the plots, which were designed for long-term forest monitoring, has been continued in 2004.

The inspections revealed in particular felling of single trees on the scientific permanent plot located in compartment 773, a plot with Pine moss-grass forest of which the average age of the trees is over 150 years.

These pictures demonstrate a Pine and Spruces which had been cut down. They had grown at the edge of the scientific plot, close to the Pine numbered 359 (marked with yellow paint). The trees have already been cut, but they have not yet been grouped to stacks nor have they been removed from the forest.

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(Compartment 773, September 20, 2004)

This felled Spruce tree is middle ages. It was located deeper into the scientific plot. A young hornbeam with the number 544 was growing in the vicinity.

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(Compartment 773, September 20, 2004)

These two pictures show another felled Pine tree. It carried number 322. This number appeared to be at the lower side, close to the ground.

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(Compartment 773, September 20, 2004)

This is one more felled Pine which was growing between the numbered trees in the area of the scientific permanent plot.

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(Compartment 773, September 20, 2004)

Thus, illegal and uncontrolled cuttings in Belovezhskaya Pushcha proceed. They bring irreparable damage to scientific plots, which have served generations of scientists to investigate the growth and development of forest ecosystems. The administration of the National Park did not make any serious conclusions regarding their policies and actions as a natural consequence to previous exposures and scandals. There is no need to doubt that more detailed inspections on other scientific plots, of which over one hundred do exist, will reveal that the situation in many of them is awful. It may be clear to every human being that the established regime of secrecy of the National Park and the patronage by its head organization, the Property Management Department of the President of the Republic of Belarus, promotes the lawlessness which has been created in Belovezhskaya Pushcha.

The facts given on this page once more prove that Belovezhskaya Pushcha is considered by today's leaders of the National Park as an appendage to utilize natural resources in the frame of a commercial system. This system is provided by the mentioned "high" Belarusian departmental organization. Everything else are just fine words and facade which cover the true activities and their consequences. The truth is presented in the section "Photo-fact" and on other pages of the "Belovezhskaya Pushcha - 21 Century"-website.

Further: Large-scale cutting of the reserved forest (2004), continuation