10 facts about the Białowieża Primeval Forest…

….you will never hear ecologists say.
04.08.2016

….you will never hear ecologists say.

1. The majority of the Białowieża Primeval Forest has been formed by a human for ages

Parts of natural forests constitute about 20 percent of the total area of the Białowieża Primeval Forest. Currently, all of them are and always will be under strict protection. Timberlands with precious habitats, that had been administrated for decades by local foresters, constitute the rest of the area.

 

2. The Białowieża Primeval Forest is not just the Białowieski National Park

The Białowieski National Park constitutes about one sixth of the Białowieża Primeval Forest area located on the Polish side. Browsk, Białowieża and Hajnówka Forest Districts constitute the rest of the area (5/6 of the total area of the Białowieża Primeval Forest that is administrated by the State Forests). Nature reserves constitute about one third of the area of those three forest districts. 

3. Human should support nature

Foresters are responsible for protecting habitats and endangered species. Nature left to itself very often heads to its unification. This phenomenon appeared within the area of the strict nature reserve in the Białowieski National Park where, within the last half century, about 30 species have disappeared irremediably. Implementation of an active protection is necessary to preserve species within the rest of the Białowieża Primeval Forest area.

4. Foresters want to protect the Białowieża Primeval Forest

Activist of non-governmental organizations support the idea of leaving the nature for itself, for the sake of protection of natural processes – even if it means disappearance of particular species or habitats. Foresters, on the other hand, want to protect the Białowieża Primeval Forest, as we know it today. It represents a remnant of the ancient forests and without human support its diversity will decrease.

5. The level of logging in the Białowieża Primeval Forest will be low

Up to year 2021, average annual logging in the Białowieża Forest District will amount to 18,8 thousand m3 (half as much as it was assumed in the logging plan for the last decade). In an average forest district, outside the Białowieża Primeval Forest area, the amount of logged wood equals 90 thousand m3  annually. That’s 5 times more than in the Białowieża Forest District for comparison. Even in some National Parks the level of logging is higher as compared to levels planed for the Białowieża Forest District. What is important is that increment will exceed logging four times within this area.

 

6. Foresters consider the Białowieża Primeval Forest as a treasure

The Białowieża Primeval Forest has been tended by foresters for over 90 years. In 1929 foresters contributed to termination of the contract with English company The Century ETC, that has overexploited the Białowieża Primeval Forest. If it wasn’t for this decision, many precious parts of the Białowieża Primeval Forest wouldn’t exist today.

7. Foresters are not interested in money

The State Forests for many years has been conducting multifunctional forest economy which assumes, that nature conservation is more important than logging. Three Białowieża forest districts are deficient - all 430 forest districts of the State Forests contribute to preservation of those three forest districts.

8. Foresters appreciate the importance of dead wood

Foresters make sure that there is enough amount of dead wood essential to functioning of many species. Spruce trees killed by the bark beetle will remain in the forest until its natural decomposition. Deadwood within the area of three Białowieża forest districts constitutes currently 74 m3/ha– five times more than the average for National Parks.

9. Dead spruce trees pose a threat to people

Within a few years, hundreds thousands of trees killed by the bark beetle will massively start to fall over. If they are not felled, for tourists’ and local inhabitants’ safety, it may be necessary to close access to some parts of Białowieża Primeval Forest. Dead trees also enhance the risk of fire, especially during dry years and increased tourism movement.

10. Foresters are legally obliged to fight off bark beetle infestation

In accordance with the Forest Act, foresters are responsible for forest protection, including detecting and combating insects endangering forests. The only method of fighting bark beetle known by scientists, is removing infested trees before the insect spreads to another tree.