Dagnija Lazdiņa


The forest has always been important for Latvian residents, as a shelter, as a home, as a source of resources, as well as a place for recreation and a place of adoration. Forest is a main supplier of raw materials to the economy a source of wood and non-wood resources and a place of recreation. The definition of forest is published in the Forest Law, which states that “forest is an ecosystem at all stages of its development, where the main organic mass producer is trees, the height of which at least five meters can be reached at the site and whose current or potential crown projection is at least 20 per cent of the area occupied by the forest”. Forest regeneration and restoration is also defined in the above-mentioned law. Forest management is governed by a number of Cabinet regulations. Advice on how to make forests sustainable can be found in the guidelines and handbooks prepared by both – forest experts and environmental activists. Unfortunately, the current scientific knowledge is not always included in the forest management regulatory base, sometimes contradicting it, for example, the optimal number of trees is higher in regulations than demonstrated by the scientific studies. Similarly, at the beginning of this century, creating a new legislative base, introduced new terms in international circulation, which do not necessarily express the nature of the activity carried out. For example, in English, the term “clear cut” has been translated as a “bare cut”, in neighboring Estonia the same activity is more accurately described as: “recovery felling”, which means that the forest stands have reached maturity, the trees are felled and new ones are planted or sown in their place, thereby contributing to the natural recovery of the forest. In recent years, it is also called “recovery felling” in Latvia, although no changes have been made to the law. Similarly, with the internationally used terms “forest regeneration” and “forest restoration”, both of them are translated as “forest renewal”. “Regeneration” is understood to mean the recovery of forest by planting or sowing a new stand after final felling, while promoting the process of natural return, while “restoration” is the restoration of the forest ecosystem, which must be carried out if any of the components of the forest ecosystem “do not work” and the forest stands die in the absence of renewal. The “restoration” measures include, both soil enrichment, drying and irrigation, limiting the proliferation of various pathogens, as well as the development of new forest stands where the former have died due to the above and other conditions.