prilagođeno pretraživanje po punom tekstu

ŠUMARSKI LIST 5-6/2020 str. 10     <-- 10 -->        PDF

not comprehend the concept of eternal forests, which are not always of the same age, because just like other beings they have their development stages. Their eternity extends through generations of forests. Cutting down old, mature forest stands opens the door to a new generation of a forest, and all foresters rejoice in it because it testifies to a successful change of generations and the survival of the forest in the same area. This transition is visible in lowland forests, but there are also mountain forests in which such an obvious transition is not striking, so it is less noticeable to observers.
Those less well informed or malicious do not know about or close their eyes to decades of pressures on the state forestry. These pressures are aimed at enabling individuals and companies to receive different benefits: in the past it was olive groves and vineyards, today it is the construction of wind power stations and grazing in vegetation-covered or bare forest areas. Croatian foresters staunchly adhere to the concept of sustainable management, under which they fight against reducing forested areas. Thus, if forests are sometimes cut down for conversion purposes as regulated by spatial plans, reduced forested areas are immediately replaced with new forests in another place. Although state forestry has often been thought as a hindrance to development, it has in fact defended lawful activities in circumstances in which some investors, as well as state institutions, have exerted pressure by speeding up the procedure in their favour without any legal basis. The company Croatian Forests Ltd, with all its strengths and weaknesses, is only a part of the overall picture in the Republic of Croatia. Personnel recruitment and management is the same as in other public companies and state-owned companies. Just like in any other profession, there are omissions and mistakes, but one things is always the same: the postulates of Croatian forestry have been tested and verified for over 250 years. Present-day activities of lesser quality in some forests are the consequence of various factors and they do not differ from mistakes taking place in all other professional spheres (is not it true that sometimes a surgical operation may go wrong, or a building can be poorly constructed or a piece of machinery badly assembled?). Even in the most recent case of the Krš-Pađene wind power station, Croatian Forests Ltd have done their homework well by collecting the debt to the investor for easement in the amount according to the regulations valid at the time of starting the investment. 
In most of its activities Croatian Forests Ltd are between the hammer and the anvil: on the one hand, there is constant pressure by users of wood resources for more felling and more produced and sold quantities, and on the other, there is growing pressure to protect habitats and species, which all makes production more complex and more expensive.
The relevant ministry, in addition to dropping the word forestry from its name at the end of 2011 for the first time after 1919, has also become an evil stepmother to its own child, since the line minister, as a one-member assembly of the company Croatian Forests Ltd, by his/her orders to the Company management acts to benefit all aspirants to receive all  kinds of products and services from forests and forestland. Thus, the most valuable logs are sold at negotiated prices which have for years been out of touch with market conditions, fuel wood and wood residues are sold under long-term contracts regardless of changed market conditions, and bare forest land, and even truffles, must be given over to anyone who wants them, even if legal regulations are not complied with. 
The Croatian Forestry Association frequently points out that politicization of the entire system is one of the biggest problems of our society. Entire company managements are changed by politics every four or fewer years and nepotism is an inherent part of the system. Managements installed by politics in this way are forced to carry out the orders of the same policies, even if they are illegal. This is how companies, in our case Croatian Forests Ltd, are dragged through the media as criminal organisations; even public protests are organized against them. Can we even guess how the employees, our colleagues who do their jobs responsibly and lovingly, feel?
All these events raise fears of the terrain being prepared for giving state forests for concession after the company Croatian Forests is declared incapable of forest management. There are many examples of concessions generating exploitation of forests without any investments in them. The majority of European countries with abundant forest areas have strong state companies which manage and guard state forests, their areas and the life in them.
This text does not aim to defend anybody in advance: someone’s innocence or guilt will be decided on by relevant institutions. In the state in which fruitless debates about the past are held, it is time to turn to the present in a more rational manner and not succumb to harangues and hysteria. Politics should loosen its grip and leave it to the profession to do what it knows best: in the case of forestry, it is the management of forests and forestland.
<br>Editorial Board