Clashes erupted in Ridder over last year’s forest fire

How is it really necessary to protect and save the forest wealth of Kazakhstan from fire, said experts from the region of East Kazakhstan.

The forest in Ridder, which was destroyed in May last year, began to be cut down just now, a year later, after receiving permits from the Committee on Forests and Wildlife of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Kazakhstan and tenders. Some active readers of Rider have caused a stir on social networks and the media, claiming that young and surviving trees are being cut down along with the burned plantings. Meanwhile, experts are convinced that the approaches of forest resources from the point of view of the state and society need to be adapted, reports inbusiness.kz.

Not everything alive is green

The Ridder fire in May last year destroyed more than 276.4 hectares of forest, 35 residential buildings, one person died. According to the East Kazakhstan Territorial Inspectorate for Forests and Wildlife, the damage amounted to more than 252.4 million tenge. The fire victims helped everyone, they moved to a new home a few months after the tragic event. It will take much longer to restore the forest. Vladimir Rezanov, a well-known public figure in East Kazakhstan, executive director of the Association of Forestry, Carpentry and Furniture Industries of the East Kazakhstan region, believes that it is necessary to return the decision-making authority to local or forestry companies.

“It is necessary to change the situation, competitions must be held within two to three months after the fire, otherwise the spread of diseases and pests can not be avoided. In Soviet times, if such trees were not removed in time, severe sanctions would follow. it may not take place, it is postponed, but the forest can not wait “.

Vladimir Rezanov considers the allegations of activists from Reader that a supposedly surviving forest is being cut down at the site of the fire to be unfounded. Among the burned trees there will be three hundred with a green crown, but in a year and a half they will inevitably die, says the social activist.

Elena Borishenko, head of the Semey structural subdivision of the Republican Center for Forestry and Seed Management, Ph.D., agrees. He told inbusiness.kz that during the 3-4 months of the hot season, beetles appear in the forest after a fire. These are secondary pests that attack weakened trees and it is useless to try to remove them, because the insects make movements under the bark of the wood and it is impossible to save it. Such a forest is suitable only for firewood. The sooner deforestation begins in fire-damaged forests, the better, because the beetles are spreading exponentially there, says the scientist. Surviving crown trees must also be removed, weakened by fire and infested with pests.

Arman Yesentaev, Deputy Head of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management in the East Kazakhstan region, noted that the legislation clearly states that all trees damaged by fire are subject to sanitary felling. At the same time, there are no reservations, they should burn completely or partially.

The security system is ineffective

Vladimir Rezanov and forestry engineer, businessman Alexei Boboshko challenged the existing system of forest protection against fires. In their opinion, now the situation in leshozes is better than a decade ago, they began to have equipment, but there are not enough people. Aleksey Boboshko recalled that last year’s fire in Ridder “slipped” in front of the forest office and they could not locate it. By the way, several employees of the Ridder forest ranger were punished last year for allowing the fire to spread, taking untimely measures to put it out.

According to Vladimir Rezanov, it is necessary to restore and modernize Soviet approaches to protecting forests from fire, with the participation of the public, activists, tighter control of holidaymakers, mushroom pickers, hunters and other forest users. educational institutions, organize specialized spaces in busy places. He is convinced that it is necessary to bring to justice, up to criminal liability, both landowners and regional leaders for burning agricultural land – burning reeds in the fields, because the fire is often carried to the neighboring forest. Unfortunately, says the social activist, Kazakhstan has already lost its forest training system.

The insidiousness of the West or the reinsurance of the East?

The timber industry in Kazakhstan has long been on the brink of survival due to all sorts of bans, restrictions, increasing logging age and, consequently, a lack of wood processing companies, experts said. In the region of East Kazakhstan, where about half of the timber reserves of the entire republic are concentrated, it is officially allowed to cut 1 million cubic meters every year without destroying the forest! But in fact, according to official figures, in the Ridder area fall 60 thousand cubic meters per year in all types of logging and 120-140 thousand cubic meters throughout the area. Interestingly, in the early 1990s, 1.5 million cubic meters of forest were cut down each year in eastern Kazakhstan.

Now the state loses 1.5 billion tenge a year with the foam fee alone, says Aleksey Boboshko. But something else is even sadder: if the forest is not cut down in time, then it ages and deserts, begins to get sick, becomes a good flammable environment, a source of infections and parasites and dies in old age.

According to Elena Borisenko, in Soviet times, timber companies worked in the Ridder forests, which are mostly fir trees. They made clean cuttings, then natural overgrowth of these areas or foresters planted.

“The rejuvenation of the forests has been continuous,” says the doctor of biological sciences. “The area has been cut, and after 20 years you can go back and cut it again, especially aspen and birch. Ridder is sick, not only infected with parasites, but also with diseases. Now there are many rotting processes out there – root rot, stem, because the fir is a tree that decomposes quickly. We need to change the system. “

According to her, Andrei Kalachev, director of the Altai branch of the Kazakhstan Forest Research Institute in Rider, is reviewing logging methods and types. There is a widespread opinion among experts that in fir plantations should be made continuous, then it will be effective.

“Forest is a renewable resource, as opposed to the natural resources we send for export. I believe that the situation with the forest resources in Kazakhstan is a policy imposed on us from outside in order to sell our non-renewable resources to West, and destroy renewables here, do not develop processing.And now it is difficult to prove that the forest must be cut down in time.Most people involved in ecology and forest rescue do not understand this today, – Aleksey Boboshko “Many people do not have a basic knowledge of the forest. Kazakhstan needs experts who can see how it behaves properly. Today, forestry companies are run by everyone who is not lazy.”

According to Aleksey Boboshko, there are eight structures in Kazakhstan that are controlled by forestries, they control them constantly, as a result of which they can not function properly. He added that the forest is a geographical concept and grows where conditions allow. Planting it in areas where there has never been a forest is a waste of budgetary resources, says the expert. But in order to save the forests and use them rationally, Aleksey Boboshko proposes to introduce the institution of their private property in Kazakhstan. According to Vladimir Rezanov, it is now impossible due to the lack of a sufficient number of highly qualified staff in forestry, industry and science.

The forest in Ridder will be restored

Elena Borishenko believes that logging restrictions by the government of the Republic of Kazakhstan, as well as fears of public figures in the Reader, were caused by large fires in the Semipalatinsk remnant forest in the 1990s. to get permission to cut valuable coniferous wood, as huge sums of money could be obtained from its sale without much difficulty. And this unfortunate experience, he believes, could be the reason why Kazakhstan has cut down logging at the state level, “to save the forest”.

As for the fate of the forest in Ridder, Elena Borisenko is sure that when all the burned forest is removed and new forest crops are planted, an impenetrable grove will appear in its place in 10-15 years.

“There is very good weather, beautiful soil and very good natural overgrowth. First of all, birch, poplar and then fir, pine and other conifers grow under the crown of these trees,” says Elena Borisenko. Apart from artificial reproduction, even after a fire, a soil stock of seeds remains in the forest.They can be stored in the soil at a depth of up to 20 years without sprouting or losing their vegetation.Nature itself regulates when the time comes. to cultivate. “

Olga Usakova

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