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Białowieża National Park in Poland



Harry 79 | 13,371    
6 Apr 2016  #31

Logging is always paired with woodland management including aforestation and reforestation.

Which word in the phrase 'virgin forest' are you having trouble understanding?


jon357 70 | 12,776    
6 Apr 2016  #32

'virgin forest'

Indeed one of the last virgin forests and also one of Poland's main tourist attractions. And PiS are deliberately raping it for cash.
euronews.com/2016/01/18/poland-activists-call-for-bialowieza-forest-to-be-protected/

Here's a little information for those unaware of Bialowieza about the area that PiS are destroying for cash. One of the very many (and entirely negative) aspects of Polan's post-election political scene:

The Bialowieza Forest is one of the few virgin forests of the European Union and definitely the most beautiful one. It is located across the border between Belarus and Poland, less than 70 km from Brest.

The importance of this forest, stated by the inclusion among the UNESCO Heritage sites in 1979, comes by the fact that it represents the last crop of the great forest that thousands of years ago occupied the entire European area.

theitalianeyemagazine.com/en/where-to-find-the-ultimate-virgin-forests/

One of the many, many problems with PiS (a party who were an abject failure when they held office for just 17 months a few years ago before) is that they have very little of either self-awareness or self-control and people are understandably worried that this is the tip of the iceberg.

So far, they've:
- tried to destroy the Constitutional Court
- withdraw funding from families having fertility treatment
- proposed banning women from terminating a pregnancy if they're raped
- abolish the newly won independence and neutrality of the justice system
- broken into the NATO offices in the middle of the night

and much, much more...



Szalawa 4 | 254    
6 Apr 2016  #33

Here's a little information for those unaware of Bialowieza

It's infested with bark beetles, Dolno posted a link to it not too long ago ask him about it, one way of prevention is to cut down the infected trees
jon357 70 | 12,776    
6 Apr 2016  #34

There is no credible suggestion at all that the trees they are cutting down by the thousand are infested by spruce bark beetles, nor that the logging they are doing would prevent infestation - this is purely a cash cow. And a very sad one.

"It is notable that only 57 per cent of the stipulated harvest refers to spruce, the bark beetle's host tree species."

ft.com/cms/s/0/5cc92ce4-f730-11e5-9afe-dd2472ea263d.html#axzz454I4zufz
delphiandomine 87 | 15,816    
6 Apr 2016  #35

It's infested with bark beetles, Dolno posted a link to it not too long ago ask him about it, one way of prevention is to cut down the infected trees

The thing is - basic science tells you that if some trees die, they will be replaced with trees that are more resilient. You just have to leave it alone - the forest will use the dead trees, and what replaces the dead trees will be stronger than before.

But if you use this approach, the foresters don't get their hands on the 200 year old trees that are very valuable on the open market, hence the local forest inspectorate loses power/money. It's all about a cash grab under the guise of 'management'.
Szalawa 4 | 254    
6 Apr 2016  #36

There is no suggestion at all that the trees they are cutting down by the thousand are infested by spruce bark beetles - this is purely a cash cow. And a very sad one.

By what accusation? Did you witness this yourself? please provide any evidence to support your claim, I am interested.
Polonius3 1,020 | 12,550    
6 Apr 2016  #37

infested by spruce bark beetles -

The point is that the bettle plague cannot be allowed to reach the oak stands, a major natural monument at Bisałowieża.
Anyway, anyone who was blind to all the PO era scams has little if any right to criticise a government working to clean up the mess the nepotistic Platformer cronies left behind.
Szalawa 4 | 254    
6 Apr 2016  #38

ou just have to leave it alone - the forest will use the dead trees, and what replaces the dead trees will be stronger than before.

If you do it that way the bark beetle population will spread, dead trees are their life source and breeding ground. There must be a lack of predators/diseases that control the beetle population. Not saying your wrong, but the importance now is in the seedlings not the infected tree. Anyway it's something I'm interested in, might just apply in a year or so and see what happens if the problem is still existent.

But if you use this approach, the foresters don't get their hands on the 200 year old trees that are very valuable on the open market

Most likely it will just rot in the ground otherwise, perhaps provide some nutrients to the soil but that is all, why not make the best of a bad situation?
jon357 70 | 12,776    
7 Apr 2016  #39

The point is that the bettle plague cannot be allowed to reach the oak stands,

That, Po, is a matter for forestry experts. I, and I suspect anyone else who doesn't pretend to blindly follow the PiS regime would doubtless trust the experts, (read the FT article if you haven't already) than the current regime's moneygrabbers.

But if you use this approach, the foresters don't get their hands on the 200 year old trees that are very valuable on the open market, hence the local forest inspectorate loses power/money. It's all about a cash grab under the guise of 'management'.

Exactly.
Szalawa 4 | 254    
7 Apr 2016  #40

As I suspected, there is a decline in white backed woodpeckers in the area, a natural predator towards the bark beetles. Well if you can get their numbers back up and remove the badly infested/dead trees you can prevent the decline of the forest. Bark beetles have wreaked havoc in the past, maybe not in Białowieża as I am not sure, but certainty elsewhere.

Environmentalist argue to leave nature alone as Białowieża is unmanaged forest, while other biologist and environmental scientist such as foresters do not opposed removing dead wood.

Well you can either follow Finland's path and harvest the dead wood or leave it alone like Russia does in Karelia. Leaving dead wood alone increases insect biodiversity, which is in interest to some.

Another thing, is the harvesting within the national park or simply around it? that's a relevant question

theguardian.com/world/2011/apr/06/poland-environmentalists-foresters-primeval-forest

This article is 5 years old, but still relevant and explains the situation quite well. There is a lack of published scientific literature specifically to this situation, at least in English, at the moment to conclude the exact situation.

57% of the trees harvested are spurce so 43% are other species? were these other species dead wood that were collected or actually conducted logging, that is also relevant.
Dougpol1 20 | 1,396    
18 May 2016  #41

Merged: The Forest - worth a thread on its own Mods. IMO

Bialowieza logging permits now issued.
Forest scientists and directors all sacked and replaced by nepotistic appointees. Greenpeace threatening action, for the bison, lynx and wolf need vast tracts of ecosystem to roam.

It's all going to kick off soon. Is the EU going to let these PIS crims get away with destroying the environment of a once beautiful land totally?

Once more into the breach dear friends - this time for Polish honour, not for St George.....

First step. Pay off all the locals who are biatch ing about "cheap wood for fuel", and re-house them in some block district of Bialystok - they'll get all the municipal heat they want there.

Last stand for Europe's remaining ancient forest as loggers prepare to move in

Government plans to fell Poland's Białowieża forest have divided families, led to death threats against green campaigners and allegations of an 'environmental coup' by government and state timber interests

theguardian.com/environment/2016/may/18/last-stand-for-europes-remaining-ancient-forest-as-loggers-prepare-to-move-in-bialowieza
Braveheart16 10 | 68    
11 Sep 2017  #42

Merged:

Ancient forest of Białowieża



It would seem that the EU are out to decide on what penalties/action to take against Poland for defying EU law by refusing to stop logging in the ancient forest of Białowieża. Whilst a decision has yet to be taken by the EU it still seems odd to me that the insect infested trees are being sold....would it not be safer (or dare I say it ethical) to burn the wood or do all these insects run/fly away whenever a tree is felled.....I doubt it. I have no knowledge of the insect world and effect on trees and even less on how to deal with infected trees but it just seems right to burn those that are infected to contain the problem....or is it a situation where the non affected parts of a tree are cut and sold separately....? It sort of smells a bit when people are making money out of such an important ancient forest which has been listed as a Unesco world heritage site. Any thoughts on this?
jon357 70 | 12,776    
11 Sep 2017  #43

It sort of smells a bit

Even a lot.

which has been listed as a Unesco world heritage site.

They may well lose this if the logging continues.
Braveheart16 10 | 68    
12 Sep 2017  #44

It really is incredible that the PIS can be allowed to get away with the felling and sale of so many trees in the ancient forest....it really is a grab and cash in situation which will of course deplete and ruin these magnificent forests....having read some of the previous postings on this subject it probably would be right to fell infected trees and just leave them in the forest for nature to take its course and to allow important animal life to continue living in this environment.... Maybe PIS could start producing some statistics on how many trees are infected, the extent of this problem, why it is necessary to cut down infected trees and why they have to sell infected trees....in this way the public may start to understand more of the problem and allow them to make their own minds up about the rights or wrongs of logging...at the moment the news just talks about the EU -v- Poland. PIS seem unable to put forward any credible defence save from the standard message.....insufficient detail....insufficient reasons...etc.....pretty poor show....

I would much rather see more transparent management of forests to deal with the continuing problem of rubbish which is allowed to accumulate in various parts of forests....which includes bottles, beer cans, paper, plastic bags etc etc.... I have no idea what people think about this problem....do locals care enough to do something about this...eg. speak to the relevant authority and get the rubbish removed...it is an eyesore....or why not go for the easy option and organise regular clear up operations using volunteers....and combine this by educating the public on the dangers of tipping rubbish in forests...national advertising etc. Tourists must be so disappointed and shocked to see the rubbish when they walk in the forests....this to my mind is a really important problem which can so easily be solved.....
CasualObserver    
12 Sep 2017  #45

Braveheart16, it's not just diseased trees (spruces) that are being felled/sold, they are clear felling ALL trees in patches, separated by small buffers of unfelled trees. So theya re felling oaks, limes, birches. It's impossible/difficult to selectively fell just the spruces, so they are using the excuse to fell everything, and then selling the valuable oaks etc as timber, as well as healthy spruces. The trees all grow amongst each other - there are not pure stands of trees like in a plantation. This clear-felling can be seen from the photos and satellite images.

There is a long list of commercial companies that are involved in buying the timber, making money for Szyszko, with documented examples of the timber being transported hundreds of km and sold as roofing beams.

The clear-felled areas are then being replanted with oaks (valuable timber trees), which then turns natural forest into plantation forest - forever. This is the real aim of the foresters, they want to destroy the natural forest (which planted itself) and turn it into a commercial plantation, i.e. a tree farm. This means that the National Park cannot be extended to the whole forest, as there will be nothing valuable or natural left to protect.

The reason that the scientists object is because natural forest is extremely rare, as virtually all of it in Europe has been turned into commercial plantation, replanted or destroyed. Bialowieza is the best, most pristine example left, so it is the only place where scientists can study 'natural' European forest (which planted itself), and compare to processes in the transformed forests elsewhere in Europe - so Bialowieza is a benchmark.

The reason why the whole forest is important, not just the National Park, is because the National Park is small, and is does not function as a small unit - the forest processes extend across the whole forest. Species such as Lynx and White-backed Woodpecker require the whole forest to maintain viable populations. The large-scale felling (across 2/3 of the forest) will reduce the effective size of the forest for these populations, threatening their continued existence in the National Park areas itself.

The bark beetles are just as excuse - Szyszko is rewarding his forester friends for their support, and at the same time he is taking revenge on 'ecologists' who humiliated him in his last stint as minister when they asked the EU to block him from create a freeway through the Rospuda wetlands. This time he wants to win, to show that he is the 'big man'. So theya re rushing to destroy what they can of the natural forest before the EU can take action, and then it will be too late to save anything.

Bark beetle outvreaks occur regularly, and the forest recovers - it is very noteworthy that Belarus has not cut down ANY trees on its side of the forest, because it knows this is a natural process that will manage itself (dying spruces will be replaced by new ones, from seeds lying dormant in the forest, just like they have always done).

That's why this is a tragedy, and a crime (against EU law and European heritage). Once this forest is felled, and even if it is replanted, it will never be the same again, and it will just become like every other forest in Europe - nothing special. What we are losing is priceless - it cannot be recreated once it is gone.
dolnoslask 2 | 1,152    
12 Sep 2017  #46

virtually all of it in Europe has been turned into commercial plantation,

Always funny that those guilty of ravaging their own resourses, or other countries, for gain are then the first to complain when someone else does it, what hypocrites they are when someone does the same.
Roger5 1 | 1,358    
12 Sep 2017  #47

Google this. The scientists say bark beetle infestation occurs every ten years or so, and the forest can handle itself.

Will fairy tale Białowieża forest survive Poland's fight with the EU? - BBC
Braveheart16 10 | 68    
12 Sep 2017  #48

CasualObserver......thank you very much for your full and comprehensive explanation of the issues surrounding the Białowieża forest logging.....your comments were really helpful in understanding the bigger picture....this doesn't seem to be a vote winner for the PIS and unfortunately this will continue to erode all the good work done with funding of Polands infrastructure, education etc and potentially lead to reduced EU funding.....with the result that the Polish people will be the ones who suffer....what a tragedy...

Roger5....I Googled your suggestion and found a useful video which provides an interesting insight into the logging practices....

bbc.com/news/av/world-europe-41031299/will-fairy-tale-biaowiea-forest-survive-poland-s-fight-with-the-eu
mafketis 16 | 4,609    
12 Sep 2017  #49

....with the result that the Polish people will be the ones who suffer....what a tragedy...

Hey, as we keep being reminded, PiS enjoys very solid support among people willing to turn a blind eye to their less savory activities.

I'm upset because I don't support them and also might end up suffering so I'm just saving up a bunch of 'I frickin' told you SOBs' when it hits the fan.

PiS is all about Plunder and Scams - they've destroyed Pride of Poland (a high profile international brand) by favoring cronyism over competence.

They're destroying a priceless natural wonder for a few zloties to line thier pockets with.

They're destroying Poland's international reputation as prideful beggars - spitting in other countries' eyes and demanding money for it.

How much does the soul of a country cost? In Poland it's 500 zl a month....
Ziemowit 8 | 2,500    
12 Sep 2017  #50

it is very noteworthy that Belarus has not cut down ANY trees on its side of the forest, because it knows this is a natural process that will manage itself

Yes, I've heard about that, too. This actually means that Lukashenko, a Belorussian dictator, is in this respect a much wiser man than the whole bunch of 'dobra zmiana' clowns.

And since the greater part of the Białowieża Forest is on their side, there is still hope for this primeval forest to survive unless, of course, the 'good change' reaches Belarus one day or another.
G (undercover)    
12 Sep 2017  #51

Ziemowit

So can you present your knowledge about the situation in that forest and where did you acquire it ?
jon357 70 | 12,776    
12 Sep 2017  #52

This actually means that Lukashenko, a Belorussian dictator, is in this respect a much wiser man than the whole bunch of 'dobra zmiana' clowns.

Exactly - it's virgin forest, a delicate ecosystem. Less is more.

Once a forest starts to degrade, the damage continues.
CasualObserver    
12 Sep 2017  #53

dolnoslask: "Always funny that those guilty of ravaging their own resourses, or other countries, for gain are then the first to complain when someone else does it, what hypocrites they are when someone does the same"

It's called learning from others' mistakes, which is ironically what PiS is saying it is doing by refusing muslim migrants (learning the multi-kulti mistakes of the west), but hypocritically refuse to use this knowledge when it comes to protecting your precious unspoiled forests. UNESCO didn't make the whole Bialowieza Forest a World Heritage Site for nothing - they did it because it is very special, uniquely valuable in Europe as a cultural and scientific wonder. It is the only place where Europe can see the original Wildwood where we all came from as hunter-gatherers before the adoption of farming and towns. It is amazing that it survived in such a pristine state for so long, and a source of real pride for Poland. Well, it was until Szyszko took control.

It is truly ironic and hypocritical that some Polish patriots and nationalists don't mind PiS doing this to one of Poland's most prestigious sources of national pride and international respect and admiration. It is the ultimate in 'anti-patriot' behaviour to destroy your own peoples' heritage for small temporary profit and power. For Christians too, Bialowieza should represent 'Eden', unspoiled creation before the fall of man. We only need to look at Szyszko to see how man has fallen, in that he's willing to destroy Eden when he has the choice.
CasualObserver    
12 Sep 2017  #54

Once a forest starts to degrade, the damage continues.

Virgin forests, left alone, regenerate themselves, adapt and change, move and modify, in response to climate and conditions. Bison thrash a sapling with their horns, it grows back or is creates a gap in the canopy where another sapling grows. It is dynamic, always changing - often slowly, sometimes quickly (like after a storm).

But the point about virgin forests is that they follow natural processes, and only in very very few places can this be studied, admired and appreciated. Bialowieza is one of them.

Once you introduce the industrial hand of humans, with their logging machines and chainsaws, you end the natural processes and the long uninterrupted line of natural selection. You turn it into a plantation, a tree farm, where humans do the selection and manage the processes, not nature. That is why Bialowieza should be left alone to deal with the most recent outbreak of bark beetles (which is just one of many) - to let the natural processes continue and the forest to manage itself, which it always has done before, and it always will do in the future, if it is allowed to do so.
jon357 70 | 12,776    
12 Sep 2017  #55

left alone

Yes. This is the key. Not many left in Europe, and the bad change government is hell-bent on destroying the best one. This will be their legacy.

Once you introduce the industrial hand of humans, with their logging machines and chainsaws, you end the natural processes and the long uninterrupted line of natural selection.

And the degradation never stops.
G (undercover)    
12 Sep 2017  #56

Virgin forests, left alone

So when there's fire you would allow it to burn ?
jon357 70 | 12,776    
12 Sep 2017  #57

That is a particularly silly comment.

Would you have your daughter genitally mutilated?. Probably you wouldn't. Would you throw a bucket of water on her "when there's fire"? Probably you would.

There's a reason this wanton act of destruction by the bad change government is universally condemned.
CasualObserver    
12 Sep 2017  #58

@G (undercover)

Yes, because fire is also a natural process in forests. Did you even know that spruce and pine are fire-adapted trees? Why do you think they have resin that burns so well, and scaling bark? They promote periodic fire (from lightning strikes) to burn intensively to destroy their competition (broadleaves) and promote their own seeds in the ashes. Basic ecology.
DominicB - | 2,135    
13 Sep 2017  #59

So when there's fire you would allow it to burn ?

It's been a long time since we realized that natural fires are a necessary element of the growth cycle of health forests. A lot of the problems during the great fires in Yellowstone in 1988 were directly caused by overzealous firefighting efforts in the preceding decades.

Man-made fires are, of course, a different story.
gumishu 11 | 4,534    
14 Sep 2017  #60

Did you even know that spruce and pine are fire-adapted trees?

spruce is definitely not a fire-adapted tree- because of it's thin bark it dies in most forest fires and so do its seeds




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