RMK to sign new user agreements with hunting associations  03.06

After the new Hunting Act enters force RMK will sign with all hunting associations agreements on the use of state land for hunting purposes. State forests are free to be used for hunting purposes by hunting associations; however, they need to compensate for significant game damage.

According to Kalev Männiste, Head of RMK’s Hunting Management Department, the standard agreement on the use of state forest for hunting purposes was prepared by a working group composed of RMK and Estonian Hunters’ Society. “The agreement allows a hunting area user to hunt large and small wild game, care for game, and build hunting facilities,” said Kalev Männiste. “We wish to sign the agreement as soon as possible because the state forest cannot be used for hunting purposes without an agreement.” In the coming weeks, RMK will send to hunting area users proposals to sign new agreements.

According to Kalev Männiste, the most important agreement concerns game damage. “Significant damages will be treated under the principles of the Forestry Act or, in other words, forest damage is significant only when due to damage there are not enough healthy trees in order to account for as a forest,” clarified Männiste, adding that hunting associations only have to compensate for these direct expenses that are incurred to RMK in the damaged place. As an alternative to compensation, a hunting area user and RMK may agree on the remedy of significant game damage in other ways, for example, by replacing the damaged trees with new ones.

In order to prevent game damage, RMK establishes in state forests forest plantations with a higher plant population, according to the state forest renewal strategy. RMK informs hunting area users about all significant game damages and the results of forest expert evaluations.

RMK is a profit-making state agency established under the Forestry Act, aimed at sustainable and efficient management of the state forest. RMK grows reforestation materials, organises forestry works, is engaged in the sale of forest and timber and organises game upkeep. Additionally, RMK establishes opportunities for nature walking and forest holidays in recreation areas, in Estonia’s five national parks and almost 40 other protected areas, and shapes nature awareness. RMK manages 38% of Estonia’s forests.

Further information:
Kalev Männiste
Phone 513 9642
e-mail kalev.manniste@rmk.ee