Continuation of felling of living stands of Spruce in protected quarters, August - October 2002

Infringements: Clauses 25 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; violation of rules for the selection of trees for felling and infringement of the technology of selective sanitary cuttings to battle Bark beetle infection; cutting down living old-age giant Spruces; violation of the ecological balance within the protected forest; infliction of a damage to biological diversity.

Events, facts, documents and evidences: The first State Commission has been brought to life by order of the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Protection №178 at July 24, 2001. Concerning the question of sanitary clear cuttings in the Belovezhskaya Pushcha the Commission concluded to prohibit sanitary clear cuttings within the National Park by an overwhelming majority, as it contradicts basic purposes and tasks of this body. The Commission has forbidden to cut down single Spruces as well, no matter if they are infected by Bark beetle, as long as the trees are still alive. A permission for cutting is given only under the condition that obvious attributes of death of the tree are present. The second State Commission, which inspected the Pushcha from 18 to 21 September 2001, confirmed the interdiction of sanitary clear cuttings of living forest. However it has authorized cutting recently infected Spruces in the months May and June.

The administration of the National Park has ceased their autocratic procedure of felling stands of living Spruces, which it started to adopt in May, 2001.

However, felling of living Spruces, amongst which giant Spruces, has been executed in summer and autumn of 2002. By doing so the management of the National Park violated the regulation of the State Commission, which resulted from the conclusions drawn and recommendations made in advance.

These photos show the stumps of felled giant Spruces of old-age.

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(Compartment 806, October 16, 2002)
Clear cutting of a stand of Spruce within a mixed forest is being accomplished on this picture. Many Spruces of old-ages, including trees without traits of infection by Bark beetle, have faced the axe to end their life.
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(Compartment 681, October 16, 2002)

Further: Felling of living Oaks