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As global wood prices hit record highs, wooden products from Poland are becoming unrivalled in the West. Black PR has rushed to the rescue of German manufacturers. In the latest instalment of the eco-offensive, the Germans are feigning concern for Polish bears, allegedly endangered by forestry work. These are the same Germans who cull all the bears in Germany.
Fake news in German media
The information about the alleged mass logging in the Podkarpacie region and the imminent extermination of the bears living there was published by Germany’s Deutsche Welle and Tagesspiegel. It was also immediately publicized by the Polish-language portal Onet.pl, owned by Ringier Axel Springer Poland.
Usually, foresters do not have time to rectify every false information published on social networks by radical niche groups. This time, however, these untruths were quoted by serious German media, so it is worth clarifying the reality.
Allegedly massive logging
It is untrue that massive logging is underway in the Podkarpacie region which is due to the increase in market prices. The volume of timber harvested in each forest district is strictly determined once every 10 years in special plans developed by experts and approved by the Ministry (forest management plan).
These plans do not consider fluctuations in demand and prices. The main criterion is sustainable development and leaving a large part of the growing stand so that the area of forests in Poland increases all the time. Foresters do not harvest more than the plans, regardless of the market situation.
Truth in numbers
It is not true that the bears living in Podkarpacie are in danger of extinction. In fact, the population in Poland is growing. Half a century ago, their number was estimated at only 20 individuals, today official data presents 381 (GUS 2020). This is almost four times as many as were reported in the article by Germany. It is worth recalling that in Bavaria (Germany), you can meet thousands of these animals, but only on monuments, coats of arms and postage stamps.
It is not true that Poland leads the way in logging in Europe. It’s enough to look at official data, including German. In Germany, 80.4 million cubic meters are logged, and in Poland 39.7 million meters, with the Germans logging 76.5% of the annual increment, and the Poles only 65.7%. (Data for 2020 – forstpraxis.de and the Report on the State of Forests in Poland).
It is untrue, as claimed by “anonymous Polish environmentalists” quoted by the Germans, that the overall situation of Polish forests is “pessimistic.” All statistical data, compiled by independent scientists, show a continuous increase in the area and improvement in the condition of Polish forests, in which biodiversity indicators remain stable.
It is also untrue that the number of demonstrations against logging in Polish forests is growing. The same groups of radicals, who often have nothing to do with ecology, are still protesting. An example is a group calling itself the Wilczyce Collective. Their encampment was recently found to contain drugs in commercial quantities, crossbows, and weapons. Among those detained were citizens of several countries, including Germany.
Read also ➡️ Drugs in the camp of pseudo-ecologists
Story of Mr Czech
Even the quoted story of Dr Andrzej Czech in the article is fabricated. He said he “was a guardian of the forest in the past and carried out activities that were in line with State Forest policy and now he has changed his mind.”
In fact, 18 years ago, as a forest management certifier, he tried to get the management of the regional directorate in Krosno to violate Polish law, which ended with him losing a lawsuit and a court judgment (files no. IC 754/04, Krosno District Court judgment of June 13, 2006).
Facts about Polish forests
The truth, on the other hand, is that the number of young trees planted in Poland actually reaches 500 million every year. It is thanks to sustainable forest management and many years of experience of Polish foresters. What is more, German forest management experts look upon with appreciation that Poland is getting greener. This can be seen by anyone on the deforestation map in the global forest monitoring web application Global Forest Watch (globalforestwatch.org). There is no forest loss in the Polish Carpathians, contrary to what German media claims.
Everyone is entitled to their views, but we cannot tolerate the reporting of false data and manipulation aimed at depreciating the effects of the professional work of many generations of Polish foresters. German citizens, who in their own country do not have many publicly accessible forests, and who can already see some species of wild animals only in closed breeding facilities, are welcome to visit the Podkarpacie region. There, they will spend unforgettable moments in the bosom of wild nature, listen to the singing of birds, pick the most delicious mushrooms in the world, and see many beautiful animals in the wild.