27 Sep '17, 12pm

The #Bialowieza Chainsaw Massacre

The bark beetle is menacing Białowieża – this much is true. But in this tiny trickle of truth, the Polish government has found a very convenient scapegoat for its environmental crimes. Such outbreaks are a natural ecological phenomenon, though their frequency has multiplied due to climate change. Foresters and conservationists are diametrically opposed on how to manage the problem. For the former, the priority is to ensure a rapid return to ‘business as usual’; they log the affected trees and a belt of healthy trees surrounding them, supplemented with chemical treatments and replanting. While this can stop the immediate outbreak, it sets off a vicious cycle – as seen on Bulgaria’s Vitosha Mountain following an outbreak in 2001. While the Vitosha nature reserve was left to recover naturally, the area outside the protected zone was logged, cleared and replanted – to mixed su...

Full article: http://www.birdlife.org/europe-and-central-asia/news/tria...

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