TALLINN - The maximum permitted area for regeneration cutting in Estonia's state forests for 2021-2025 has been reduced, Postimees reported.
According to the Forest Act, the minister of the environment must determine the optimal regeneration area for state forest managers for the next five years by Dec. 1 of each year.
A year ago, Minister of the Environment Rain Epler from the Estonian Conservative People's Party (EKRE) approved 56,381 hectares as the optimal area for regeneration cutting in state forests for 2021-2025.
On his last day in office, Environment Minister Tonis Molder confirmed 49,399 hectares as the optimal area of regeneration cut for the next five years, which is 7,000 hectares less than the area approved for regeneration cut by Epler.
Under law, regeneration cutting includes clear cutting and shelterwood cutting. Regeneration cutting is carried out in order to enable reforestation or forest regeneration.
According to an assessment by the Environment Agency, approximately 11.3 million solid cubic meters of timber was cut in Estonia in 2019, of which state forests accounted for approximately 4.5 million solid cubic meters and private forests for about 6.8 million solid cubic meters.
Molder, who resigned as minister last week, said that the reasons for his resignation were personal, health and family. However, at the end of last week Molder made a confession on social media revealing that he had been a sports betting addict. The ex-minister also said he had put himself on the gambling self-exclusion list.