Foresters from the Czech Republic and Austria will share information

6. 9. 2022
Czech and Austrian foresters will share information about the current situation on both sides of the border. Experts from the Mendel University in Brno and other expert workplaces are preparing a manual for them on how to behave in risky situations such as bark beetle calamity. Drought, wind, fire, and bark beetle know no boundaries, and early intervention is key to reducing the risk or perhaps limiting the spread of bark beetle. At the same time, small owners do not even know where to look for basic information about the forest. This applies both to information about current and potential risks, and to the situation of how to behave when a calamity occurs.

“Small owners are simply not experts and do not have the finances for specialists. They often don’t even know what subsidies they are entitled to, where to look for information about current and potential risks, and who to turn to with questions about possible recommendations and solutions,” said Radek Pokorný from the Faculty of Forestry and Wood at MENDELU, according to whom the uniqueness of the manual lies in its concise comprehensiveness and mediation of all necessary information sources in one place. It also offers the possibility of comparing practice and legislation on both sides of the border.

This year, forest owners will find an overview of current and potential risks in the affected regions as well as recommendations for preventive measures in the manual. “Information about what to do after the disaster, how to tackle forest restoration taking into account the specific natural and climatic conditions of the given location, with the aim of transitioning from a traditional forest of age classes to a permanently creative forest, is also very up-to-date. In other words, the owners will learn to grow a forest rich in species, age and structure,” said Pokorný. The manual also compares financial support systems for forestry and forest management in the Czech Republic and Austria. Our neighbors have precise targeting of financial support to solve specific problems. An example is compensation for forest property destroyed by a calamity, establishment of diverse and resistant stands including spruce management, prevention and control of forest fires, and others.

An interesting fact is that in some areas a different legislative framework applies in Austria compared to the Czech Republic. All forests are subject to official supervision, the authorities check compliance with all executive and legislative regulations. If the forest owners do not comply with the regulations, the authorities have the power to immediately implement possible or necessary security measures, and then charge the owner for them. Anyone who fails to comply with the prescribed measures to protect the forest and commits an offense can be fined up to 7,270 EUR or even an unconditional sentence of up to 4 weeks in duration.

The Forestry Manual is designed so as not to overwhelm with general information, but on the contrary to provide clear information and recommendations according to habitat, tree species, most likely threat, and property size, both from the point of view of prevention, acute steps and measures, and subsequent recovery, including the financial and economic aspects of individual measures. “The manual is intended to save time for the user and make it easier for him to find his way around the issue, answer his questions and provide recommendations for a specific type of forest or risk,” says the scientist.

The scientists are also preparing a website where forest owners will share information about current and potential threats with experts, and they will also publish a network of demonstration and operational areas for the transformation and reconstruction of forests, which can be visited and consulted with the local ranger if interested.

The situation of forest damage, especially in the border areas of the Czech Republic and Austria, has been going on for several years. “For owners, forest managers and other participating institutions, it is a big social and economic problem, but also a challenge. In the course of the solution, it became clear how many partial local measures leading to solving the calamity affect forests, even on the other side of the border, and how crises in forest management could be solved more effectively in the future through better exchange and sharing of information,” Pokorný added.

Contact for more information: doc. Ing. Radek Pokorný, Ph.D., phone: +420 605 236 551, Faculty of Forestry and Wood Technology,

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