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Pro Silva Bohemica is an association of foresters and forest friends who practice the use of natural processes in forest management in order to better and more sustainable profits and maintaining the continuity of the parallel fulfillment of all forest functions.

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Changes in legislation

Foresters, News

The deteriorating condition of forests due to drought, bark beetle calamities and overpopulated game was to be resolved through changes in the forest law.

During the discussion of the changes in the autumn of 2019, a dispute arose mainly about the role of the state in the regulation of overpopulated game. The proposal of a part of the deputies of government and opposition parties provided that the hunting authorities would determine the plan of hunting management in hunting grounds instead of their owners and hunters. The reason is the effort to reduce the number of overpopulated ungulates.

The Minister of Agriculture supported this, stating that the changes are based on the previous year’s government proposal. For were academics and ecologists. They were annoyed that the deputies did not approve the extension of the deadlines for reforestation (2 years after harvesting) or did not limit the intentional clear-cutting (mostly 1 ha). Overpopulated game is currently the main barrier to the restoration of damaged forests.

The proposal was rejected by the Czech-Moravian Hunting Unit or the Association of Owners of Municipal and Private Forests of the Czech Republic. According to critics of the amendments, including the chairman of the Czech-Moravian Hunting Union, the changes are ill-considered, bureaucratic and limit the rights of hunting owners and hunters.

As a result, this part was adopted with a deferred validity, during which the Ministry of Agriculture drafted a completely new version of the Hunting Act in a record short time, which will be discussed in parliament in autumn 2020.

It was approved that the measures supporting the fight against bark beetles will be able to be newly determined by the Ministry of Agriculture, regional authorities and municipalities with extended powers. The measures take effect immediately. There are also clear rules for financial contributions to non-state forest owners to address the impacts of the bark beetle calamity.

The Ministry can now grant exemptions for the use of seedlings in the event of a lack of suitable growing material. The forest owner will be able to apply for them. The ministry, like regional and municipal authorities, has the option of banning people from entering forests for their safety. The ban can be valid for up to three months and can be extended.

The Chamber of Deputies inserted into the law a ban on the privatization of state forests, except for the exchange of forests or sale in the public interest. MEPs also approved a proposal to limit the removal of logging residues where forests do not have enough nutrients.

Usual production of up to 20 million cubic meters has doubled in recent years and forecasts are getting worse. Almost half of the wood in the raw state was exported for processing abroad. The situation was greatly complicated by quarantine due to covid-19. But the crisis is a great chance for the necessary changes.

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Pro Silva Bohemica in Switzerland

Foresters, News

45 members of the Czech branch office of Pro Silva Europa – Pro Silva Bohemica visited Switzerland to see the best practice of selection forests. In between August 27th and 31th they went to Couvet and Emmental (Toppwald) on a study trip.

Selection forests and climatic change
The topic of this study trip was a history, a present and a future of selection forests in its real home. Czech foresters who support close to nature forest management based on Pro Silva principals had a chance to see forests stands where Henry Biolley and Walter Ammon worked and their followers continue and face to face the hard influence of climatic change. Selection forests are still alive but climatic, economic and social changes hit hardly this tradition concept of the close to nature forest management.

Conversion to „Dauerwald“
Aplication of selection principles and following of the nature is the only sustainable way for foresters in Grenchen and Selzach too (Swiss Jura). They decided to change their mind and management system 25 year ago to prepare forest for the future. Members of Pro Silva Bohemica saw clearly examples of conversion of clear cutting system to the „Dauerwald“.

The winner will be Oak
Swiss foresters estimate that the winner of the climatic change in Switzerland is going to be Oak. Nature shows the way and foresters have to follow it and accompany the forest softly into the future by application of selection principles.

Jan Kozel Pro Silva Bohemica

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Report on International Workshop in Czech Republic – 25th to 26th October 2018

Foresters, News

Exemplary Forest Units of Uneven-Aged Forestry in the Czech Republic.
On 24th October eight of us, Padraig O Tuama, Padraig Dolan, Fionan Russell, Tomas Hanrahan, Kieran O Connell, Paul Finnegan, Ted Wilson and Andy Dunne travelled to the Czech Republic to attend a CCF conference being held by Pro Silva Bohemica. After arrival in Prague airport we rented a mini-bus and travelled together to the Hotel Medlov in the Kocanda District about two and half hours travelling east of Prague close to the district town, Žďár nad Sázavou. Below is the blurb on the invitation to attend the work shop in Kocanda District. The workshop structure was forty per cent presentations and sixty per cent visit in the forest where we could see demonstration of forest transformation in practice. The attendance was made up of approximately eighty Czech foresters, eight from Ireland with representatives from Germany, Austria, Poland, Slovenia, Sweden and Switzerland.

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