This year, the end of October pampers nature walkers who have a wonderful opportunity to enjoy and experience a variety of warm autumn colours by taking a walk along forest trails in Latvia. Within the framework of the international project “Forest Trail” (Mežtaka), all interested can head for long-distance hikes leading from Lithuania all the way to Estonia. Hiking trails are marked on map as well as in nature. One of the autumn adventures can be a small hike to Līgatne, watching the Zvārtes Rock, listening to the different sounds of nature in Amata and “reading” other signs of nature.
Hiking is becoming increasingly popular in Latvia – it is a safe trip either alone or with a group of friends. Whether you enjoy forest trails shortly after the rain, feeling those refreshing drops on your skin, or the rays of sun on a busy day, the walk will enchant both the old and the young walkers. In this unusually warm season, you can find trees that are confused and are now blooming just like in spring, the most attentive walkers will notice signs of European spruce bark beetles and other insects in tree trunks; and some will just make a bouquet of coloured leaves to be taken home to feel closer to nature
During the construction of the new Gruzde road, explosive objects were found in JSC “Latvia's State Forests” (LVM) Valmiera Forest District. The dangerous finding was reported to the State Police.
“We started the construction of the road already last winter, when the builder removed the topsoil. In May, continuing the construction works, the road pavement was built on an old railway section. By repeatedly moving the previously removed soil layer, the excavator driver noticed charges,” says Madara Zujāne, LVM Vidzeme Region Forest Infrastructure Specialist.
The European spruce bark beetle is the most devastating pest for spruce stands in Latvia, and it is able to destroy even healthy stands. Therefore, JSC “Latvia's State Forests” (LVM) and the Latvian State Forest Research Institute “Silava” have created an educational film for forest owners, in which experienced experts share tips on how to recognize infested trees, when and how to act to reduce spruce pest, limit further spread and how to minimize risks in silviculture.
Agnis Šmits, Leading Researcher at the Latvian State Forest Research Institute “Silava”, tells that the spruce bark beetle is an approximately 5-millimetre-long beetle with eight teeth. The bark beetle can cause more damage to spruce stands than all other forest pests taken together, therefore it must be taken very seriously. Two generations of this insect develop in Latvia – beetles fly when the average air temperature is above 20 degrees. When they fly out of the ground, they gather in wilting or weakened spruces. If there are many beetles, they can destroy even completely healthy spruces.
Thanks to the wood production, supply and transport planning tools, within six years JSC “Latvia's State Forests” (LVM) has succeeded in reducing the amount of CO2 or carbon dioxide emissions caused by the transportation of timber by as much as 24%.
LVM is working hard to reduce its CO2 emissions. One such activity is planning and managing the transportation of timber. Since 2013, LVM has managed to reduce the number of kilometres travelled in one ride by 49 kilometres.
In this year`s green winter, we are lucky to find some of nature`s rarities that usually could be discovered only in early spring, once the snow has melted. In the course of forest stock-taking near Rēzekne - in the forest of Taudejāņi, LVM Northern Latgale Planner found an inconspicuous coffee-coloured mushroom amidst brown aspen leaves. LVM Environmental Planning Specialist surveyed the site and found a very vital deposit covering a small area. She found more than 100 specimens of a very rare mushroom called witches cauldron (Sarcosoma globosum).
“This time, the mushroom was found in a birch stand incorporating individual spruces and aspens; however, usually it can be spotted in spruce stands of different ages on moist soils - in mosses and spruce needles. This is the fourth biggest known deposit of this species in LVM Northern Latgale region. In other sites that were previously identified there were only individual specimens, up to eight specimens, therefore we are very happy about this large and important discovery,” tells Diāna Marga, LVM Environmental Planning Expert.
The year 2020 has begun with a number of regulatory changes affecting, among other things, the building materials industry and the construction sector.
JSC Latvia's State Forests” (LVM) would like to draw your attention to the amendments to Cabinet Regulation “Occupational Safety Requirements for Occupational Exposure to Carcinogenic Substances in Workplaces”, which have been supplemented taking into account the requirements of European legislation on the protection of workers against the risks related to carcinogenic or mutagenic effects.
The changes are intended to establish or correct workplace exposure limits (limit values) for a number of carcinogens, including respirable crystalline silica dust found in mineral deposits and construction sites, or sand-containing materials.
On November 20, a workshop on “Europe’s future policy after 2020 – pathways for the future” took place in the Forestry House in Brussels. The workshop related to the ongoing EFI science-policy study, which will be published in March 2020.
A newly signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the National Forestry and Grassland Administration of the People's Republic of China and EFI brings Europe-China collaboration on forest governance, sustainable forest management, and the development of the bioeconomy to a new level.
Actions to support a fluent science-policy dialogue on forests will be an important focus of the collaboration, which was officially launched in 2013.