Sanitary loggings seem to be profitable... if you do it the right way...*
Geologists destroy the forests of the first group by courtesy of Forest Service.
Forests of the first group (timber-line forests, restricted and protected zones along rivers and roads, along lake shoves, green zones, nature protected area and others) form more than half (67%) of the forested areas of Murmansk region and are in the jurisdiction of Russian Forest Service.
Due to the profounds crisis of the industrial forest complex, resources of the forests of the first group were often desired.
On 11 October, employees of the Kola Regional Ecological Informational Center "Econord" recorded the felling of mixed spruce and pine stands in the green zone of the Apatity city. The cleaning was carried out with the use of chainsaw and trailers. It was decided that the felling would be called "Selective sanitary logging" by the Murmansk geological prospecting expedition with permission from Kirovsky forest management. It was immediately obvious that the felling turned the character of the area upside down, it did not result in its primary purpose. With the absence of old pine and spruce trees the area was left ecologically weak and sick.
On October 14, through the initiative of "Econord", ecological inspectors were called into the area that had been logged. The findings of inspectors confirmed that the logging was in contradiction with active regulation. On October 26 Alexey F. Zimin, head forester of the Murmansk region, was given the findings. He promised to quickly bring about and loan logging.
These are not the first violations of regulations in the territory of Kirovsky forest managment. In Spring 1997 a environmental NGO's brought out information of the felling of trees in the protected timber-line forests in River valey of the Tulijok. It is interesting that in this case illegal logging occured there carried out by Murmansk geological prospecting expedition with permission from Kirovsky forest management too. Logging was halted on result of quick interference from top management of the Forest Service of the Murmansk region.
Continued destruction of forest in the green zone of the Apatity city shows that in the past one and a half years the attitude of Kirovsky forest managment towards forests of the first group has not changed. It is necessary to also note that similar disregards of a rules are now appearing in other forest management areas of Murmansk region.
* First published by Russian NGO Forest Club and Socio-Ecological Union Informational Coordination Center in Forest News no. (18) 29, November 1998.
Some pictures of so called "Selective sanitary logging"