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
“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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
Actions to support a fluent science-policy dialogue on forests will be an important focus of the collaboration, which was officially launched in 2013.