The Slovenia Times

Only Quarter of Damaged Wood Cleaned Up After Winter Ice Storm


The clean up effort after the catastrophic storm which affected more than half of Slovenian is progressing as planned, Andrej Breznikar told a panel at the AGRA agricultural fair in Murska Sobota.

Out of a total of 9 million cubic metres of wood damaged by the ice, around 2.3 million cubic metres have been cleared out.

The focus has been on clearing out conifers, which decay more quickly and facilitate the spread of bark beetles. Around 41% of all damaged conifers have been removed, said Breznikar.

The Forestry Institute has assessed that the total damage to Slovenian forests caused by the ice storm stands at EUR 214m.

Meanwhile, the institute is focusing on promoting safety in forests, as there have been a total of 69 work-related accidents this year, which have resulted in 11 fatalities.

The number of accidents represents a 130% rise over last year, although the institute points out that the primary cause is not the clean up, since most of the accidents have happened during routine forest work.

Meanwhile, the institute says the disaster has not caused a marked drop in wood prices in Slovenia or nearby markets.

While the price of low-quality wood has dropped somewhat due to the spike in supply, there continues to be a lot of demand for high-quality wood.

The institute plans to launch a reforestation effort in forests which will not recover from the ice storm on their own in four to five years, as part of which it will plant around 870 hectares of new trees.


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