Will this be the fate of our urban forest?

Probably.   We should have a tree planting AND harvesting plan at the city wide level.   Think we will?  Not with the hope of an 8-sided TV screen in Rupp!

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AFP

Greeks ‘fell trees for warmth’ amid economic chill

ATHENS (AFP) – Rising oil prices and chilly economic times are prompting increasing numbers of Greeks to chop down trees for winter warmth, a group of forest engineers warned Tuesday.

Nikos Bokaris, a spokesman for the Panhellenic Union of Forest Engineers, said the debt-wracked nation’s forest ecosystems were not yet under threat, but urged the government to act quickly to prevent broader damage.

“You have to remember what happened in Albania,” Bokaris said, describing how that country’s population felled trees en masse after the collapse of communism. “Even the trees lining the roads were chopped down.”

Greek foresters filed 1,500 criminal complaints last year, twice as many as in 2010. About 70 percent of Greece’s forests are public, with most of the rest belonging to various religious institutions.

Bokaris attributed the rise to a sharp drop in national funding for forest management, coupled with a near-doubling of oil prices in 2011.

He said forest funds had been slashed from 20 million euros ($26 million) in recent years to 10 million euros from now on.

The cuts are part of Greece’s austerity measures agreed with international creditors in a bid to win vital debt bailouts.

The Greek arm of environmental group WWF has also expressed concerns. Its forests expert Konstantinos Liarikos said both individual and organised group activity were impacting the forests.

“Wood poaching,” as some in Greece call it, is not a new phenomenon in a country where even modern homes in Athens still have fireplaces. Domestically provided firewood is often not enough, with the shortfall made up by Balkan lumber.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Will this be the fate of our urban forest?

  1. Ahavah

    A lot of people are suffering from the silly idea that they can hunt and chop wood in an economic collapse. If everybody does that, and a huge number of people will, then neither the supply of game nor the supply of trees would last a single year. Everyone in the survivalist community only thinks of what THEY will do and rarely consider what other people will do. If you want energy security, you can’t be dependent on ANY outside sources for your food and fuel. And very few people are planning for that reality.

    • Yes, our wood wouldnt last very long. then what….? That’s why I think we as a city need a forest management plan – wood will become a very valuable resource over the coming years. That an individuals and families need a low energy plan for themselves as well.

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