Forestry service to increase logging
The Dutch forestry service will increase logging by 50 percent to compensate for radical cabinet budget cuts.
The measure comes in response to cabinet plans to scrap most government subsidies for nature conservation. The exact percentage will be announced later this month but the forestry service’s budget is expected to be cut by about 40 percent.
The quantity of wood taken from Dutch forests will increase from four to six cubic metres per hectare and is expected to generate additional income of about three million euros a year
The forestry service says additional logging will not lead to deforestation. The service says trees grow fast enough to make up for the additional logging, which is also said to be conducive to forest rejuvenation. The Netherlands currently has 90,000 hectares of forest, 54,000 of which is used as production forest in addition to recreational and nature conservation purposes.
Additional logging is just one of a series of measures under consideration by the forestry service. Other plans include offering ‘green meeting arrangements’ to businessmen, exclusive field trips and supplying bio mass to power plants.
Forest Ecology Professor Jan den Ouden says the forestry service’s plans are both responsible and logical. He argues that additional logging will not harm the forests or biodiversity. Forests have always served as a wood supply and not just as a back drop to recreation. Additional logging could also increase the supply of domestically produced timber.
The Foundation Critical Forest Management is opposed to the increase in logging and says the forestry service should let nature run its course. A forest which is left alone will automatically rejuvenate itself as trees are blown over in storms or killed by diseases.
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