Polish ecological organizations are up in arms over plans to reintroduce large-scale logging in the protected Bialowieza forest in the east of the country, in response to a massive spruce bark beetle infestation there.
The sound of logging is back in the ancient Bialowieza forest.
In 2011, strict quotas on the amount of harvested timber were introduced by the former Polish government in response to a large-scale campaign by Polish and international ecologists. Before, in much of the forest, towering oak, spruce, larch and pine trees used to be commercially exploited.
Until 2021, foresters were set a limit of 63,000 cubic meters of timber. But due to an unprecedented invasion of the spruce bark beetle, foresters have dusted off their chainsaws to get rid of the pest. The limit has been all but exhausted in half the allotted time.