Czech Republic’s Forests Making Strides in Combating Bark Beetle Infestation

The Czech Republic’s state-owned forests are successfully managing to combat the bark beetle infestation, according to the Czech Republic’s Forest Management (Lesy České republiky). This is due to their intensive efforts to locate, process, and dispose of beetle-infested wood. The company plans to harvest 8.5 million cubic meters of timber this year, of which one and a half million cubic meters are beetle-infested, down from nearly three million cubic meters last year. The company is returning to normal operations in the process.

The decline of the outbreak is attributed to the company’s own and supplier processing capacities, as well as permanent monitoring of beetle-infested trees, setting up traps, insecticidal screens, and other defenses by the company’s general director, Dalibor Šafařík.

“This year’s real cost savings in forest protection are at least CZK 100 million. Cooler spring weather also helped to delay the start of the bark beetle’s breeding season. We are now looking to restore vast areas of mixed forests, which will be more resistant. We want to continue the trend that has been established; for the third year in a row, the area of deciduous forests has grown. The area of restored forest stands in the Czech Republic last year was record-breaking, with more than 50,000 hectares,” said Minister of Agriculture Marek Výborný (KDU-ČSL).

The state-owned forests continue to process most of the beetle-infested wood in the Rumburk region of northern Bohemia, but the situation has also significantly improved. The priority is forest restoration and consistent implementation of all silvicultural activities, for which CZK 4.6 billion has been allocated in this year’s budget. The company will restore 16,000 hectares, of which 23% will be done naturally, from seeds and fruits of standing trees. Protection of the forest and particularly young stands from deer is also crucial.

The Czech Republic’s Forest Management has been successful in its efforts to combat the bark beetle infestation. They hope to restore the country’s forests to their former glory with continued efforts.