Forest protection and surveillance

Forest protection

RMK has an obligation to guarantee a good state of forest health and protect stands from fungus diseases, pests and other damages. Protection works and control measures are used to prevent or liquidate damages. It is possible to reduce the extreme climatic effects with right silvicultural methods and strengthen the general resistance of a stand with the help of biological diversity.
In order to promote biological protection the nest boxes for birds are built. Pests are lured from forest trees to trap trees cut down for that purpose or into pheromone traps.
As a rule, the chemical insect control is not performed in a forest. Unless it is a question of controlling large pine weevils or black pine beetles, toxic chemical agents (as well as bacterial and hormone preparations) are exclusively used on the basis of forest protection expert assessments. In order to increase the disease security of plants the necessary insect control is usually performed in nurseries. Healthy forest has the highest environmental value.

Forest surveillance

In order to be a good manager, RMK has to guard that the value of state forest would not be reduced due to malicious actions or accidents. This task is also connected to the preservation of forest as the environmental value.
The main cause of damage may be a human being whose careless behaviour may cause forest fires or who while being maliciously greedy will misappropriate timber from forest that is supposed to be a natural environment for all people in our country.

The reduction of forest fires is mainly possible thanks to the speed of fire detection and the precision of detection. For that purpose the forest fire air surveillance has been organized during the fire-risk period. Flights are ordered according to necessity. In case of an alarm Cessna 172 small aircraft with a four-person seating capacity will fly from Tallinn and/ or Tartu on board of which the people will survey a strip of land more than 240 kilometres wide in the north - south direction during a 3-5 hour flight.  According to necessity the flights are also ordered from Pärnu. People on board of the plane can determine the exact location of fires using the GPS-system. Thanks to the coordinates it is much easier for the alarm centre to send rescue teams and equipment to the scene of the accident.

RMK is consistently involved in the building and maintenance of new forest roads so that it would be possible to get near to the forest or the person in the forest in case of a forest fire or some other danger and also provide assistance with relevant equipment.
To prevent the fire from spreading the mineralised fireprotection strips are built.

In 2004, 43 cases of forest fires were recorded. The first fire was recorded on 7 April and the last one on 24 July.
The average fire area was 5,9 hectares; average total area was 251,6 hectares from which:
26,8 ha of reforestation area and 96,1 ha of young growth area
103,6 ha of pole forest and mature forest
the rest 24 ha of nonforest land and 1,2 ha of area without forests.

In order to avoid illegal cuttings constant surveillance activities are maintained. Several measure are used to prevent timber thefts. So that the timber thieves would have the least possibilities to steal timber, the handing over of timber to the buyer and the removal of timber from the road sides has been organized as quickly as possible. If necessary, RMK organizes the shipping service itself. Different electronic or physical surveillance methods have been implemented according to the relevant location or situation.

The number of thefts of standing forest and timber has not increased during the time of RMK existence. The locations of stand thefts have changed. The number of illegal cuttings on the state land has decreased. The majority of illegal cuttings are still performed in forests owned by the state that have no actual owners. The overview of the location of these forests is also inadequate.

Before Christmas, the burden on the forest increases due to the number of people wishing to buy the Christmas spruce. So that the people would not harm forest with this wish, the information about the sale of spruce has to be asked from the nearest forest district.