While the protected areas within the operational area comprise153,998 hectars, only 32,166 hectars are managed by the Bükk National Park Directorate. To fulfil this duty, our organization has involved several contractors for 5-year periods. These are not typical leases, as nature conservation aspects and requirements prevail. These contracts are annexed with those regulations and specifications that conform with the specific land use and long-term utilization, thus, these may differ to suit these objectives best. This seems to be a long-term practice, as the directorate does not have sufficient number of employees, but this process is strictly regulated by law and in-house regulations.
We can draw the conclusion that this framework is very popular with farmers, and utilizing various subsidies, this construct serves mutual benefit. It is a favourable tendency that the ratio of grazing has increased. A sensitive question here is that non-local entities and business become more and more interested in land leases speculating in considerable subsidies.
In order to attend these land management duties, we try to utilize our machines to the maximum level. This is not an easy task, as these lands are scattered geographically, causing considerable problems with logistics. Sensitive habitats require a large amount of hand labour, and these are contracted with local businesses.
Managing forests with nature conservation objectives
After the political changes of 1989-90 and the new re-privatizations, some protected areas became private properties, resulting in grave contradictions. Having realized these anomalies, re-privatizations in protected areas were put to an end, and a programme was launched to keep former cooperative lands, and state farms in state ownership, and purchase already privatised lands. Thus, a large body of lands were shifted to the management of the Bükk National Park Directorate, also including forest stands, as well. We have to tackle some – seemingly contradicting – issues:
- On the one hand, the regulations of the Forest Law (No. 54, 1996) and all relevant by-laws are mandatory for the Directorate as a forest manager organization.
- On the other hand, all nature conservation directives are binding.
- And last, but not least, the economic framework and conditions are very strict.
However, we have to rectify one common mistake, i.e. the natural-like forests are not pristine forests, thus, they are not self-sustaining in their current state. The species and age composition and cutting age of the trees in one stand are very much the same. Another very important principle is that the purpose of the forests managed with nature conservation objectives cannot serve for-profit forestry activities. Their single most important role is to support ecological causes, but this is beyond economic considerations in the quality of life on Earth.
All forest managing bodies have the right to harvest wood and sell it. On the other hand, it incurs duties, too: the area of wood harvesting has to be reforested with proper tree species in a given time, and this new forest is to be managed to rear a forest with a species and age composition suitable for the given site. In a summary, harvesting wood is a possibility, while regeneration of forests is a duty. The Bükk National Park Directorate, as a unique forest managing body, focusing primarily on nature conservation, uses this right to harvest wood only in the case if this serves nature conservation purposes.
In order to live up to the above conditions, we have elaborated the following strategy:
A forest serving ultimately nature conservation objectives is a community with a biodiversity optimal to the habitat, be it in any stage of its life cycle. Consequently, our job is merely to support this natural process. This “activity” ranges from zero interference to safeguarding the conditions necessary for some species or objects requiring special attention and protection.
Grasslands within forests – observing and managing spontaneous reforestation
We have to dedicate few words to those areas that are situated within forests, but the vegetation cover (even though it might have trees in it) cannot be identified as forests. Such sites are wooded pastures, small groups of trees, rows of trees.
However, professional approach is also a must in these cases.
There is a considerable percentage of those types of plant communities which are defined as grass lands, but in fact, succession has resulted in quasi-forests. This is a challenging task, however, very interesting one, too. While the origin of these grasslands reach back to historic times where grazing was the predominant activity, their maintenance or regeneration in that form would require drastic interference and the reintroduction of grazing. This is not always our ultimate goal, since these areas can serve as the cradle of future forests. These processes support the development of truly natural forests, and this can be enhanced with reasonable management means, like preventing the spread of exotic invasive species. We do hope that the reasons behind sustaining biological diversity meets public acceptance. This type of work has been commenced in the peripheral areas of forests in Heves and Nógrád counties which have recently become state owned and where this natural reforestation is highly desirable.
These efforts are hoped to become influential in traditional forestry, and can serve as best practices that can be adapted in everyday life in order to enhance nature conservation.
Utolsó módosítás: 2014. február 18., 11:49