Yesterday in the morning activists managed to block harvesters logging in the Bialowieza Forest District, where timber extraction limit has already been exceeded, and where any work has been banned by the European Court of Justice. Trees over 100 years old were being cut down.
The State Forests explain that all the works are justified by safety reasons – be it case of an accident or a fire. However, this year’s summer has been rainy and humid, and the possibility of a fire is much lower than previous years, when the forest suffered from severe droughts. Moreover, the trees were and each day still are felled far away from roads and tourist routes. Yesterday they were cut down in the distance of 80 metres from the road, whereas the hight of trees hardly ever reaches 50 metres. Moreover, cutting down and selling of trees is not necessary to ensure public safety along trails and roads. In the woodland district of Bialowieza – where restrictions on logging have been breached and this on territories of high natural importance [hundred year old trees, protected habitats] trees which are at risk of breaking or falling should be cut down and left in place to decompose naturally. This is how the foresters work along the Białowieża – Hajnówka section which is close to a highway. This is also how risk was managed as a result of the poor condition of 200 year old trees in other parts of Bialowieza Forest.
After almost 9 hours of blocking the machines, the blockade came to end in the evening. Activists managed to save many trees and once again voice the protest againts illegal logging.