Both industry and environmentalists are unhappy with Minister of the Environment Madis Kallas' (SDE) newly announced plans to keep the volume of logging stable in the short term, but reduce it in the long-run.
Kallas believes the same amount of trees should be cut down this year due to the energy crisis where additional wood chips may be required for heating. But in the long run, he plans to reduce it from the current 11.5 million cubic meters to less than 10 million.
Environmentalists told Tuesday's "Aktuaalne kaamera" the minister's decision is disappointing.
Tarmo Tüür, chairman of the board of the Estonian Nature Foundation, said the amount of wood felled has continuously increased and it is "impossible" to speak about preserving the forest.
"As a minimum, a small reduction would be needed, which [former] Minister [Tonis] Mölder planned, and secondly, the brakes should definitely be applied on the mass reconstruction of drainage systems and roads which also destroys nature on a daily basis," Tüür said.
Manufacturers and industries that use wood are also unhappy.
The head of the Forestry and Wood Industry Union Henrik Välja said there is already a shortage of wood chips due to the reduction of felling volumes over the last two years.
"Today, the biggest shortage is in the energy sector," he said. "Now, in addition, there is an energy crisis which, due to increased demand, amplifies that."
Reducing felling volumes will also increase the price of wood, it was said.
"When there are fewer raw materials on the market, it makes life much more difficult for us. Prices of raw materials rise, and the prices of the products we sell also depend on this," said Lauri Junkin, log purchasing manager at AS Barrus.
Editor: Marko Tooming, Helen Wright