Foresters from the CR and Austria are to share information

30. 9. 2022

Czech and Austrian foresters are to share information on the current situation on both sides of the border. Specialists from Mendel University in Brno and other specialist work sites have prepared for them a manual on how to act in risky situations such as the bark beetle crisis. Drought, wind, wildfire nor bark beetle respect no borders and timely intervention is fundamental to reducing the risk or limiting the spread of the bark beetle. Minor owners of forests may not even know where to find this basic information. This relates to information on both current or potential risks, and as well as guidance on how to act in the case of a crisis occurring.

“Minor forest owners are simply not experts and they don’t have the money for specialists. They often don’t know which subsidies they are entitled to, where to look for information on current or potential risks, and who to turn to for possible recommendations or solutions”, said Radek Pokorný from the Faculty of Forestry and Wood Technology at MENDELU in Brno. According to Pokorný, the uniqueness of the manual lies in its brief and comprehensive approach, providing all the necessary sources of information in one place. It also makes it possible to compare practice and legislation on both sides of the border.

Forest owners can now find an overview of current or potential risks in affected areas, and recommendations for preventive measures. “Up-to-date information is also available on what to do after such a disaster, how to start forest renovation with regard to specific natural and climatic conditions of a given location with the aim of making a transformation from traditional forest of different age categories to forest which is constantly forming. In other words, the forest owner will learn how to grow forest which is rich in species, age or structure,” stated Pokorný. The manual also offers a comparison of financial support systems in forestry and in forest management in both the Czech Republic and Austria. Our neighbours operate with the precise aim of financially supporting the solution of specific problems, for example, compensation for damaged forest property by natural disaster, establishment of diverse and resistant forest growth including the management of spruce, prevention and control of wildfires etc.

It is interesting that, in some parts of Austria, quite different legislation applies in contrast with the CR. All forests are subject to official control, the authorities check the fulfilment of all executive and regulatory standards. If the forest owners do not follow the regulations, the authorities have the power to immediately carry out possible or necessary safety measures and then charge the owner for them. Any owner who does not follow the prescribed steps for forest protection and commits an offence can be fined of up to 7,270 Euros or even face an unconditioned sentence of up to 4 weeks imprisonment.

The forestry manual is structured in such a way as to avoid giving too much general information, but will rather provide clear information and recommendations according to location, woody species, the most probable threat, and size of property, and all from the point of view of prevention, urgent steps and measures, as well as subsequent renewal including the financial and economic aspects of these particular measures. “The manual should help the user to save time and orientate themselves more easily in the given problems, it also has to answer questions and provide recommendations for specific forest types or risks,” says the scientist.

Area website is also being prepared, on which forest owners will share information with professionals on current and potential threats. A network of promotional and operational areas for forest change and transformation, where, in the case of interest, it will be possible to visit and discuss the information with the local forester.

The situation of damage to forests particularly in the border regions of Austria and the CR has been going on for several years. “For forest owners, forest administrators and other involved institutions, it is a big social and economic issue, but also a challenge. In implementing this project, we find out how partial local measures leading to solution of the crisis may influence the forests, even on the other side of the border, and how future crises in forest management can be solved more efficiently by better exchange and sharing of information, ” added Pokorný.

Contact person for more information: Doc. Ing. Radek Pokorný, Ph.D., tel.: 605 236 551, Department of Silviculture FFWT MENDELU, e-mail:

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