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    Myths and Truths about State Forests

    Some widespread myths and misconceptions about State Forests in Poland have been addressed recently. Therefore, this article separates truth from opinion and replaces allegations and myths with facts. We encourage you to have a look below ⤵️


    Mass logging of Polish forests is underway

    FALSE

    The truth is that:

    • timber harvesting has declined significantly in recent years. Here are the data of the Central Statistical Office (timber harvesting):

    2018 – 45.59 million m³

    2019 – 42.36 million m³

    2020 – 39.67 million m³ (13% less than in 2018)

    • forest inspectorates harvest timber in accordance with a plan approved once every 10 years by the Ministry of the Environment. They cannot change it, regardless of prices and demand for wood.
    • foresters collect only 3/4 of what will grow during the year, the rest increases forest resources year by year. The data of the Central Statistical Office (forest area) confirm:

    1990 – 8.69 mln ha

    2021 – 9.46 mln ha

    • Timber resources in Poland are more than twice as large as half a century ago. They amount to 2.5 billion m³, which gives Poland 5th place in Europe.

    Foresters sell Polish wood to China

    FALSE

    The truth is that:

    • The State Forests do not export wood.
    • State Forests sell 70% of wood to regular contractors for years and the rest is sold on auctions.
    • Foresters have no influence on what happens to the sold wood. There is economic freedom and any company can sell such wood abroad.
    • Poland is a transit country for foreign timber. Such wood is transported by trucks or trains through our country, e.g. to ports on the Baltic Sea, from where it is sent, e.g. to China. These are not Polish trees.

    Foresters specifically raise the price of wood and earn a fortune

    FALSE

    The truth is that:

    • Timber sales system in Poland has remained the same for 13 years. It consists in selling timber mainly to regular contractors at fixed prices, regulated once a year.
    • Foresters have no influence or responsibility for the actions of private companies that drive up the prices of wood and wood products in stores.
    • For instance: the price of wood from which OSB plates increased by only 3% in 2022, while the cost of OSB plates in the store has already increased by 1000%.

    State Forests introduces fees for entering the forest

    FALSE

    The truth is that:

    • Free and universal access to forests is guaranteed by law, and foresters cannot violate it.
    • In connection with the organization of large, mass commercial events, forest inspectorates incur additional costs and incidentally have to compensate for them with a small fee from the organizers.
    • Only national parks charge entrance fees.

    State Forests Poland help in the fight against global warming

    TRUE

    • Trees are natural ‘absorbers’ of carbon dioxide, which is responsible for the increase in average temperature, a hectare of forest absorbs from a few to several tons of CO2 per year.
    • Trees absorb carbon dioxide in the development phase, and most of it is stored in middle-aged stands. Old, dying or growing too dense trees stop storing CO2 and start emitting it into the atmosphere. For example, the Białowieża Forest emits more CO2 than it absorbs.
    • In order to make the best use of Polish forests to fight climate warming, State Forests established Forest Coal Farms, which, under scientists’ guidance, introduce forest projects that increase CO2 absorption and reduce the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
    State Forests / press material

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