Last update:

Excessive logging in Carpathian Forest, Poland

Patience is over! The Wild Carpathians Initiative, a group of environmentalists, has blocked the access to strategic logging areas as the State Forests continues to conduct the intensive forest management plans in valuable parts of the Carpathian Forest.


The Bieszczady, Sanok-Turka and Przemyśl Piedmont Forests located in the Subcarpathian Voivodeship, often called the Carpathian Forest, belong to the last poorly transformed, extensive forest complexes of south-eastern Poland, and due to their natural values they are the most valuable forest area of the country, right after the Białowieża Forest. Rare species were found there, incl. arboreal species of bryophytes (e.g. Dicranum viride), 18 species of lichens (e.g. Parmotrema stuppeum), or 24 species of beetles (e.g. Zawadzki's runner), depending on the presence of dead tree wood. It is also the most important habitat for many forest birds, including 14 species listed in Annex I of the Birds Directive. In this area nest, among others, half of the Polish population of the golden eagle, and one-third of the Ural Owl and the Three-toed Woodpecker. This area is also a mainstay and an important migration corridor of the 'big four predators of Poland' (brown bear, wolf, Eurasian lynx and wildcat) [1] [2].

See more
Basic Data
Name of conflict:Excessive logging in Carpathian Forest, Poland
State or province:Subcarpathian Voivodeship
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Biodiversity conservation conflicts
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Deforestation
Logging and non timber extraction
Establishment of reserves/national parks
Specific commodities:Timber
Project Details and Actors
Project details

According to the Forest Management Plan [17], 852,414 m3 of wood, i.e. over 36,000 40-ton trucks [18], was planned for 2017-2026 to be cut and removed from the Bircza Forest District (27,634 ha of forest area). In order to obtain over 0.85 million m3, the so-called felling age for some tree species. These trees, thanks to protection, could reach the age of 300 years or more. Already in 2018, in the area of the planned Turnicki National Park, as much as 67,000 m3 have been cut.

See more
Project area:no more than 60,918 ha (area of planned Turnicki National Park and enlargement of Bieszczady National Park)
Level of Investment for the conflictive projectunknown
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:unknown
Start of the conflict:17/07/2018
Company names or state enterprises:Państwowe Gospodarstwo Leśne Lasy Państwowe (National Forest Holding "State Forests") (State Forests) from Poland - forest manager
Relevant government actors:- Regionalna Dyrekcja Lasów Państwowych w Krośnie (Regional Directorate of State Forests in Krosno)
- Ministerstwo Klimatu i Środowiska (Ministry of Climate and Environment)
- Generalna Dyrekcja Ochrony Środowiska (General Directorate for Environmental Protection)
- Regionalna Dyrekcja Ochrony Środowiska w Rzeszowie (Regional Directorate for Environmental Protection in Rzeszów)
- Regionalna Dyrekcja Lasów Państwowych w Krośnie (Regional Directorate of State Forests in Krosno)
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:- Fundacja Dziedzictwo Przyrodnicze (Natural Heritage Foundation)
- Inicjatywa Dzikie Karpaty (The Wild Carpathians Initiative)
- Kolektyw Wilczyce (She-Wolfs Collective)
- Społeczna Rada na rzecz Utworzenia Turnickiego Parku Narodowego
- Klub Przyrodników (Naturalists Club)
- Ogólnopolskie Towarzystwo Ochrony Ptaków (Polish Society for the Protection of Birds - OTOP)
- WWF Polska (WWF Poland)
- Pracownia na rzecz Wszystkich Istot (Workshop for All Beings)
- Fundacja Dzika Polska (Wild Poland Foundation)
- Committee of Environmental and Evolutionary Biology
- Państwowa Rada Ochrony Przyrody - PROP (State Council for Nature Conservation in Poland - PROP)
- Greenpeace Polska (Greenpeace Poland)
- Extinction Rebellion Polska (Extinction Rebellion Poland)
- Młodzieżowy Strajk Klimatyczny (Youth Climate Strike)
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:International ejos
Local ejos
Social movements
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of mobilization:Artistic and creative actions (eg guerilla theatre, murals)
Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
occupation of forest, dwelling on trees to prevent logging
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Other Environmental impacts
Potential: Global warming, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Other Environmental impactsdecrease in the level of water retention of the area
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Violations of human rights
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Criminalization of activists
Violent targeting of activists
Proposal and development of alternatives:Most scientists [20] call for the following actions (sequentially):
- working out a compromise regarding the share of old declining trees and the volume of dead trees that should be left in forest areas identified as sites of rare and protected species,
- a moratorium on cutting cuts in proposed protected areas until they are created,
- the creation of a network of reserves securing the most valuable natural objects in the area of ​​the planned Turnicki National Park, under the name of the "Reliktowa Puszcza Karpacka" reserve (a total of 8,000 ha) and a dozen or so reserves - long designed but not created so far - in the buffer zone of the Bieszczady National Park (a total of 850 ha).

Ultimately, many academics and activists - including those from the Wild Carpathians Initiative - want the most comprehensive actions to protect the Carpathian Forest, i.e. the creation of the Turnicki National Park (most likely with an area of ​​17,500 ha) and the expansion of the Bieszczady National Park.

It should be emphasized that the protection of unique mountain forests is an expression of social expectations and is in line with the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030.

It is believed that the above-mentioned forms of protection of the Carpathian Forest will arise sooner or later. Nevertheless, it is important to keep it as in the least changed state until then.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:A few weeks / months after the end of blockades and occupation of buildings, logging returns. So far, the Turnicki National Park has not been established, the Bieszczady National Park has not been enlarged, the planned reserves in these areas have not been created, and no moratorium on deforestation has been introduced.
Sources & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

[17] Approval by the Ministry of the Environment of the Forest Management Plan for the Bircza Forest District for 2017-2026
[click to view]

[19] Approval by the Ministry of the Environment of the Forest Management Plan for the Stuposiany Forest District for 2015-2024
[click to view]

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

[1] Boćkowski M., Bara I., Michalski R. (eds). (2018). Projektowany Turnicki Park Narodowy – stan walorów przyrodniczych w 35 lat od pierwszego projektu parku narodowego na Pogórzu Karpackim (The projected Turnicki National Park. The state of natural values in 35 years from the first design of the park), Fundacja Dziedzictwo Przyrodnicze, Nowosiółki Dydyńskie.
[click to view]

[2] Kramarz P., Pociask M., Michalski R. (eds). (2020). Charakterystyka przyrodnicza obszaru otuliny Bieszczadzkiego Parku Narodowego (Natural characteristics of the buffer zone of the Bieszczady National Park), Wydawnictwo PAPIRUS, Jarosław.
[click to view]

[3] Melke A., Przewoźny M. (2014). Potrzeba utworzenia Parku Narodowego Pogórza Karpackiego (The need to create the Carpathian Piedmont National Park) [In:] Ochrona Przyrody w Polsce wobec współczesnych wyzwań cywilizacyjnych, eds. Z. Marek, A. Nikiel, Komitet Ochrony Przyrody Polskiej Akademii Nauk, Kraków, pp. 101-113.
[click to view]

[4] Klub P. (2016). Potrzeba ochrony rezerwatowej Puszczy Karpackiej w 15 nadleśnictwach południowo-wschodniej Polski (The need for nature reserve protection of the Carpathian Forest in the 15 forest districts of southeastern Poland), Przegląd Przyrodniczy, XXVV, 4, pp. 65-81.
[click to view]

[9] Affek A.N., Gerlée A., Sosnowska A., Zachwatowicz M. (2019). Oszacowanie skali wpływu pozyskiwania drewna na wybrane elementy środowiska we wschodniej części polskich Karpat (Estimating the impact of logging on selected elements of the environment in the eastern part of the Polish Carpathians), Przegląd Geograficzny, 91(1), pp. 83-106.
[click to view]

[5] Kojzar K. (2019, August 8). Serce Karpat. Dlaczego od ponad 30 lat nie udało się stworzyć tam parku narodowego? (The heart of the Carpathians. Why has it not been possible to create a national park there for over 30 years?). Smog.lab
[click to view]

[6] Obsłuska E. (2019, February 13). Walka o Turnicki Park Narodowy (Fight for Turnicki National Park?).
[click to view]

[7] Społecznie Projektowany Turnicki Park Narodowy (no data). Poznaj historię Turnickiego Parku Narodowego (Read the story of Turnicki National Park).
[click to view]

[11] Bożka G. (2021, June). Potrzebujemy starych lasów i nowego leśnika. Rozmowa z Anną Siekierską i Anną Albin (We need old forests and a new forester. Interview with Anna Siekierska and Anna Albin). Miesięcznik Dzikie Życie.
[click to view]

[12] Jurszo R. (2020, August 15). Miał być rezerwat przyrody, ale Lasy Państwowe zarządziły wycinkę. Walka o Las Bukowy pod Obnogą (It was supposed to be a nature reserve, but the State Forests ordered logging. Fight for the Beech Forest near Obnogaawa).
[click to view]

[13] Jurszo R. (2021, June 24). Pokaz siły Lasów Państwowych. Ale protest w obronie Puszczy Karpackiej wciąż trwa (A demonstration of the strength of the State Forests. But the protest in defense of the Carpathian Forest continues).
[click to view]

[14] (2019, December 19). Protest przeciwko wycince w Puszczy Karpackiej. "Społeczeństwu potrzebny jest dziki las" (Protest against logging in the Carpathian Forest. "Society needs a wild forest").
[click to view]

[15] Kowalski R. (2021, February 25). Kolektyw „Wilczyce”. 54 dni w lesie ('She-wolfs' Collective. 54 days in the forest).
[click to view]

[16] Smoglab. (2020, October 8). 230 naukowców i naukowczyń apeluje o zatrzymanie wycinek w Bieszczadach (230 male and female scientists appeal to keep the logging in the Bieszczady Mountains).
[click to view]

[click to view]

[20] Nauka dla Przyrody (2021, March 31). Apel w sprawie Puszczy Karpackiej Komitetu Biologii Środowiskowej i Ewolucyjnej PAN (Appeal on the Carpathian Forest of the Committee of Environmental and Evolutionary Biology of the Polish Academy of Sciences)
[click to view]

[21] Post on the Facebook profile of the The Wild Carpathian Initiative (2022, April 29).
[click to view]

[22] Kulczycka A. (2021, July 29). Inicjatywa Dzikie Karpaty zablokowała wejście do Nadleśnictwa Bircza. Protest siłą przerwała policja (The Dzikie Karpaty initiative blocked the entrance to the Bircza Forest District. The protest was interrupted by force by the police). Wyborcza.Rzeszó
[click to view]

[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

[8] Mikos A. The Carpathians – Polish failures in the endangered natural forests, Inicjatywa Dzikie Karpaty (Power Point Presentation)
[click to view]

[10] Environmental organizations WWF Poland and the Natural Heritage Foundation are running the SOS Karpaty campaign, which aims to save the Polish part of the Carpathians and encourage the signing of an appeal in this matter.
[click to view]

The electronic petition with a request for favorable consideration by the Regional Directorate for Environmental Protection in Rzeszów of the application submitted by the Nature Foundation for the creation of the "Reliktowa Puszcza Karpacka" reserve
[click to view]

The online campaign of the Wild Carpathians Initiative in connection with the commencement of logging of a naturally valuable part of the Carpathian Forest, planned for 2020, at the border with the Bieszczady National Park. 12.5 thousand persons submitting an electronic signature demand that "separation 219a" be protected against logging, including the immediate exclusion of this fragment of the forest from use.
[click to view]

The online campaign of the Wild Carpathians Initiative with an appeal to the Council of Ministers to establish the Turnicki National Park and to immediately stop logging and hunting in the entire area of the planned park, and to secure its most valuable fragments by creating the "Relict Carpathian Forest" nature reserve (nearly 10,000 signatures).
[click to view]

VIDEO. Skidder, heavy skidding equipment, drives straight into the information tent of the Wild Carpathians Initiative and the people protecting it during the blockade of logging in the planned Turnicki National Park (April 26, 2021)
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Maciej Kałaska, [email protected] Faculty of Geography and Regional Studies, University of Warsaw
Last update26/07/2022
Conflict ID:5528
Legal notice / Aviso legal
We use cookies for statistical purposes and to improve our services. By clicking "Accept cookies" you consent to place cookies when visiting the website. For more information, and to find out how to change the configuration of cookies, please read our cookie policy. Utilizamos cookies para realizar el análisis de la navegación de los usuarios y mejorar nuestros servicios. Al pulsar "Accept cookies" consiente dichas cookies. Puede obtener más información, o bien conocer cómo cambiar la configuración, pulsando en más información.