: Protecting Ukrainian Forests: Activists sound alarm after suspicious felling
Society18:32 May. 18, 2016

Protecting Ukrainian Forests: Activists sound alarm after suspicious felling

Illegal logging endanger unique Carpathian eco-system

Cleaning up and restoring forests across Ukraine.  A public initiative is taking off in the western parts of the country. 

Thousands of new trees are being planted by activists and even journalists near the Carpathian mountains. 

Watch also Ukraine's forests on the verge of extinction

It is no surprise that the activists chose exactly this forest, since two months ago it was being cut down harshly. Though no one was caught red handed, the suspicious felling finished following the panic caused by locals.

Roman Ostrovsky, activist: "They cut down live trees. It seems as if a whole piece of land underwent clearing. We cannot confirm if it is criminal scheme unless there's strict proof. Our task now is to fix the situation and check if new trees are to be planted."

The activists estimated a total of nearly 10 cleared areas. It reminds, they say, of a special scheme popular in the villages which do not have a general plan and verge of the forest.

Petro Mateyko, organisator of the action: "Our public council works intensely to provide the full-scale inventory of such areas that lie close to the forest boundaries. You know, those not having the general plan try to enlarge the village's territory by cutting away the forest."  

Watch also Exploring Ukraine: One of seven natural wonders

The chief forester says they do a legal job. Trees are cut off on a massive scale only when they are sick. New trees, for sure, are planted instead, foresters say.

Vasyl Shalamaha, chief forester of the Carpathian military forestry: "If there are damaged plants, 60% of them are subject to clean felling, to avoid propagation."

To check out if there is illegal felling in this forestry, the activists initiated environmental and military prosecutor inspection. Their conclusions are still to come.


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