Forest clear cutting putting off wildlife from using 'greenways' ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Kohatu greenway.
Kohatu greenway. Source: Road Administration (Maanteeamet)

According to the Road Administration (Maanteeamet), many wild animals are not adapting to Estonia's "greenways", and avoid them due to the volume of timber clear-fellings in many areas. The authority plans to issue restrictions on the felling and clearance of forests.

Andres Urm, Head of the Infrastructure Development Department at the Road Administration, has addressed the Ministry of Finance with a proposal to establish restrictions on clear-felling. The restriction concerns ensuring the interconnection of the green network. Among other things, Urm considers that in the future, when using the land, fences and line objects should be erected, but the land itself should not be changed. Felling should additionally be done in a way to ensure the interconnections do not get restricted.

Urm noted some tree cutting has caused a loss of greenway interconnections with the forest area at Kolu, a village in Kose municipality and Kohatu, a village in Saue municipality.

Urm added: "In a situation, where the state has made significant investments to ensure the coherence of the green network, and the Road Administration has built resource-intensive facilities in new infrastructure projects, it is expedient to ensure the long-term performance of these facilities."

Urm points out that it is important to ensure the coherence of ecological by-ways and game (wild animals) tunnels during the preparation of local government plans.

The Road Administration's statement reads that: "The Road Administration is of the opinion that if a local government thinks the general plans remain too general and vague in determining the land use of key locations in the green network, then the local authority does not have a real desire to curb the activities at the construction or detailed planning stage. As a result, the green network will start breaking up and will raise the question for us as to whether we should continue investing money in it."

Urm finds the Ministry of Finance should have a coordinating role in organizing the spatial planning, and should analyze how to ensure the protection of key areas of the green network via the planning process.

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Editor: Katriin Eikin Sein

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