Several forests around Bucharest get protected-area status
The Snagov, Andronache and Băneasa forests, close to Bucharest, will have the status of protected areas beginning this March, environment minister Costel Alexe announced.
This means logging will be banned in these sites. In the case of privately-owned parts of the forests, the owners will have to receive compensations because of the interdiction.
Two thirds (63%) of the Băneasa forest are privately owned, Stiri.tvr.ro reported, and only several sections are listed as forest-parks.
The announcement came after a visit of the minister to the Băneasa forest, after complaints from Bucharest residents and environment activists that hundreds of trees had been cut from the site in the past month.
The Forest Administration (Ocolul Silvic) cut 1,650 trees, some of them viable, according to environment activists who criticized the move, local daily Adevărul reported.
The Environment Ministry said that no irregularities were found but that a change of status will be made.
The Forest Administration said it obtained 570 cubic meters of trees after the cuts, which will be sold at a price of RON 400 (almost EUR 84) per m3.