Dumping down wood and saw log at a local restricted dump nearby the timber mill (2008)

Events, facts, documents and evidences: It was reported earlier of how inefficient wood-processing was organised in the National Park. In 2002 and 2003 employees' energy of the National Park was basically targeted to massive tree felling and extracting as much as possible. Scales and volumes of tree cuttings were as big as the woodworking factory was flooded with wood it could not possibly cope with. This led to losses in the quality eventually to deteriorate the output. And with the sales badly organized, the processed wood was doomed to rot and further lose its commercial value piled up on the premises. The stocks in the meantime were also backed up by large amounts of decaying and still untreated wood.

This has resulted in turning the area of the woodworking factory to a very big store of rotten wood and trees of poor quality, and board not being sold. In 2007 works to clean the woodworking factory's territory and to sort good and bad wood have been starting which then to be suspended.

In winter 2008, it became known that a full-scale inspection is going to visit the Park and an order was given for employees including the Park's guard to clean up the mess by loading and carrying away the damaged stocks. Because such sort of wood was very numerous, this measure can be called the literally "military battle".

As a result, each ranger station around had to take on charge of some 1,000 cubic meters of the wood, a local source said. Taking into account the number of the stations, the figure in cubic meters of bad and rotten wood and saw logs the factory might have disposed of, allegedly, ran to at least 10,000 (!). However, wood was delivered not only to the forest areas.

Already at the start of March, some villagers of Kamenyuki (the administrative centre of the National Park) could be seen poking around at a dump near the factory and taking home the buried wood and its leftovers. A large amount of the destroyed saw log and boards, togather with sawdust, appeared to have been removed from the sawmill, have been dumped and partly bulldozed into the ground (at a site of last year’s burial of the demolished community cultural centre’s rubble). The locals were allowed to treat themselves to a portion of it for their needs. For two weeks the dump had been experiencing a true “business boom”, sources in the village say. Some would carry the wood away in cars, others would use tractors, motorcycles or bicycles. Among the waste one could fish out quite a few of rather good and still valuable pieces. Even half beams of oak are said to be lying somewhere under. They might be dug up by someone in future as those stone-hard and centuries-old morainic samples taken out of their wetland beds today.

You can see below the story and the chronicle of these events shown as a series of photos (on this page the photos including ones made by villagers from Kamenyuki were used).

Since 2004 the central site of dumping where sawdust and wood waste from the woodworking factory and rubbish from the village have earlier been delivered was closed. The entrance was served by a sign which indicates the prohibition of using the dump place, although the first photo makes visible that the fence is broken and the entrance for a vehicle is possible. Vehicles owned by the National Park can officially only enter the dump area to place wastes from the manufactory of the National Park. The first picture snows a heavy lorry unloading dust in the area of the dump.

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(The dump place, 2 November 2005)

In winter 2008, on a new place rid of waste in 2005 (next to the dumping area) where the community cultural building was buried wood waste mixed with ground and wood processing residuals have been delivered and bulldozed into the ground.

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(The dump place, 19 February 2008)

By the meddle of March the size of the heap of wood waste mixed with saw logs and boards has considerably increased and extended.

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(The dump place, 21 March 2008)

The pictures show that a rather big amount of saw-timbers of the bad and good quality is mixed with wood waste. If the proper sorting to be done they could be used for economic purposes or, at least, to be a fire wood.

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(The dump place, 21 March 2008)

Then saw logs, boards including of the good quality and other wood residuals have been delivered by heavy lorries to the dumping place and have been mixed with wood waste, just to make dump wood heaps.

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(The dump place, 21 March 2008)

The locals were allowed to take from the dump place all what they want. It's a generous gift if to take into account that earlier the people were chased away from the dump if they took even small wood pieces. The local say that the dump had been experiencing a true “business boom” for two weeks. Some would carry the wood away in cars, others would use tractors, motorcycles or bicycles. Among the waste one could fish out quite a few of rather good and still valuable pieces.

The pictures below show a dump-truck which has brought to the dump place the next portion f rather good and still valuable board pieces mixed with plank timber. And a local selects for the best materials and using a motorcycle takes them away home.

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(The dump place, 21 March 2008)

Nevertheless, despite the permission to take away the wood, the entrance to the dump place remained to be blocked by the fence (some years ago it was free that's visible from the first picture made in 2005).

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(The dump place: 1 - 2 November 2005; 2 and 3 - 21 March 2008)

The locals, therefore, have made a detour way which also then was boarded up by making the fence.

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(The dump place, 21 March 2008)

The local have then made one more detour path, dipper in the forest. Thus, few pine trees have already suffered.

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(The dump place, 21 March 2008)

Due to such "the cooperation" between the administration of the National Park and the locals a rather big area was cleared from wood residuals and plank timber. Looking at these photos one can imagined how much plank timber of the bad quality, slabs and others wood residuals were taken out the dumping place (and plus the dug wood).

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(The dump place, 21 March 2008)

After this new fences have appeared by villagers...

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(A village fence, 21 March 2008)

Thus, these photos demonstrate large scales and volumes in mismanagement existing in the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" and bad economic activity at the woodworking factory. Instead of competently managed trade and selling saw products, it was simply made to become rot and then to throw out and to bury. Moreover, the locals and employees of the National Park assert that the problem is not only from the plenty of rotten, spoiled, taken out and thrown out wood, including buried. Unsatisfactorily wood stock-taking that can serve the ground for corruption, not only for mismanagement, is also the problem. If the true inspection could be carried out at the woodworking factory, then such scales would be exposed … (!)

This is the result summarizing from the work of the "assiduous owner-chiefs" visited the Belarusian part of the Bialowieza Forest.


See and read more detailed information about the problem of low-effective timber processing in Belovezhskaya Pushcha on these earlier pages: