Ukrainian forests are national value and perform mainly water protective, protective, sanitary–hygienic, healing, recreational and other functions and are the source of securing the needs of society in forest resources (art. 1 of the Forest Code of Ukraine)
Lacking transparency and ignoring the public
State company «Stryiskyj forestry station» ignores requests and complaints, sent by our organization through official electronic postal address, via ordinary post, and phone number provided on the official web-site of “Stryiskyj forestry station” is never answered. Thus, this company distanced from the public and ignores its obligation to provide public information on the usage of state owned forest resources. This is despite the fact that forestry stations are only companies, that received forest state owned lands for forest management.
In accordance with art. 96 of the Forest code of Ukraine, environmental nongovernmental organizations have the right to free access to information about the condition of forests and forest management.
Informing of local communities about the logging near village Kotoryny was made only through informing the head of Monastyrets village council, although the logging is taking place near Kotoryny and Kotoryny village council was not informed about the plans of «Stryiskyj forestry station» to cut forests nearby.
Forest ticket, available on the web–site with public access https://lk.ukrforest.com/219206 does not provide information on the map where exactly the logging is taking place. The public control of the legality of logging was hampered by contradicting information on the web-site of the State Agency of Forest Resources, where the area of planned logging was attributed to Gyravnivske wood farm, instead of Monastyretske wood farm.
Reshaping cuts – the scheme to cut healthy and merchantable wood?
Reshaping cuts – complex cuts, aimed at gradual transformation of the–same–age pure wood into mixed multi–aged multi–levels wood. They are performed in all the categories of forests and consist of the cutting of separate trees or groups of trees at the same time, and thus facilitating natural reforestation in existing forests.
In accordance with the Examination notice of the areas planned assigned for reshaping cuts in Lopatynske, Monastyretske, Rozdilske, Khodorivske wood farms (signed by the professor of Lviv National Forestry University and first deputy of Lviv Regional Department of Forest and Hunting Management), the area where shaping cuts took place has lots of harmed trees of main species, and lots of secondary species of trees (birch, hornbeam), and in district 439 division 6 the logging was made only of beech trees with the purpose of: «conservation and renewal of valuable, high-yield beech and oak trees, and to secure maximum performance of environmental recreational functions of forest».
In addition, such cuts must be performed to facilitate appearance and conservation seedfall of beech and oak trees, but the pictures from the logging area show the opposite – loggers neglected seedfall.
Reshaping cuts are performed by means affecting the condition and renovation of forest: littering of forest, destruction of soil cover by forest transport, harming of seedfall. Representatives of the public who visited the logging area, have not received any documents confirming legality of logging activities from people present at the site, from drivers of vehicles loaded with wood, which is violation of the following legislation: Rules of improvement of the forest condition, Rules of forest rehabilitation.
Abiding the obligation to perform environmental impact assessment (EIA)
The Law “On Environmental Impact Assessment” took effect in 2017. Article 3 para 2 provides the list of activities that are likely to have adverse impact on the environment and are subject to EIA: all clear cutting, progressive cutting and clear-cut sanitary operations on the area more than 1 ha; (pp.21). In accordance with the online register of EIA, none of wood farms of Stryiskyj forestry station underwent EIA since the launch of the Law “On Environmental Impact Assessment”. In the meantime, Stryiskyj forestry station during 2019-2020 issued lots of forest tickets for clear-cut, progressive loggings: 8 tickets for Guravnivske forest farm, 17 in Borynytsk forest farm, 25 in Pyatnychanske forest farm, 20 – in Lotatnytske forest farm, 8 – in Monastyretskyj forest farm, etc. These forest tickets were issued for general aggravated area exceeding 1 ha. Thus, the lack of EIA of such cuts is evident and illegal.
Is there an adequate control over logging operations?
Complaints to the national police, state environmental inspection in Lviv region stayed without reply for complianants – dwellers of the village Kotoryny.
The inspection of Stryiskyj forestry station by Lviv Regional Department of Forest and Hunting Management upon EPL’s complaint found no violations of legal norms during the issuance of forest tickets and logging.
Is there an effective control over forest cuts?
Contact persons in EPL: O.Mele–Zabramna, B.Kuchenko, tel: 032 2257682.