The damage caused by the low purchase price of bark beetle wood in the Czech Republic and the premature harvesting of stands reached CZK 44 billion last year (EUR 1.7 billion), experts from the Czech forest think tank estimate. According to them, the bark beetle attacked 35 to 40 million cubic meters of wood last year.
“A lower value of the estimate of the volume of bark beetle-infested stands for 2020, ie 35 million cubic meters, and average data on wood prices based on specific invoices of several forest owners and managers for 2020 were used to calculate the damage estimate. From revenues – forest owners and managers in the Czech Republic for 2020 calculated at 44 billion crowns, of which the damage to revenues amounted to 30 billion crowns and the loss from premature clearing 14 billion crowns, “they said.
According to them, up to 40 million cubic meters of forest were attacked last year, which is 30 times the average annual bark beetle harvest for a quarter of a century until 2015.
Vysočina and neighboring regions continue to be among the main calamity areas. “A specific case is the vicinity of the Czech-Swiss National Park, where the bark beetle infestation has developed throughout the territory, with subsequent massive damage to forests in a wide area,” they said.
According to them, the risk of spreading of the bark beetle calamity is higher this year than last year. “We are entering 2021 in a situation where the bark beetle calamity has hit the largest area of forests in history, bark beetle logging is reaching historical highs and the population of the spruce bark beetles in forests is still extreme,” they said.
If the weather is favorable this year, they expect a slowdown in the spread, then the bark beetle could attack about 20 million cubic meters of wood. “If another extremely warm and dry year will come, then it would allow the bark beetle to reach three generations, which could quickly result in multiple tree infestation in the years to come,” they added.
Non-state owners need at least 5.8 billion crowns from the state to compensate for last year’s low wood prices, representatives of the Association of Municipal and Private Forest Owners in the Czech Republic said at a press conference last week. They added that otherwise they would not be able to regenerate the forest after the bark beetle calamity and the consequent logging activity.
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