On the occasion of the announcement of the public call by the Public Institution Marjan Forest Park for submission of bids for “preparatory works – construction of temporary trails, within the protected area of Marjan Forest Park due to opening access to bark-infected wood stocks according to the approved” Forestry Study, cutting and making, and extracting metrics and multimetrics “, the Sunce Association presents its views on the intended works:
- Invasiveness of the intervention – After consultations with experts in the field of nature protection and forestry experts, we believe that the intervention is too invasive and that the control of bark beetles, remediation and reforestation can be carried out without making trails 2.5 meters wide in total of 14 km long. If those are really necessary, it is certainly not in this extent and for each individual department / section of the Forest Economic Division of the Forest. That is, in the largest part of the Marjan Forest Park, it is possible to rehabilitate and remove the infected trees without making a trail. Only in this way is it possible to preserve this sensitive and protected area. Such an invasive procedure will potentially do more harm than good to Marjan, especially if we take into account the fact that it is very possible that the bark beetle will not be completely removed by this procedure.
- Lack of timely action, non-implementation of remediation measures and non-transparency of competent institutions – On poor forest condition and non-implementation of forest management programs, and especially measures of biological remediation of forests, associations (https://sunce-st.org/en/vijesti_en/the-condition-of-the-marjan-forest-is-worrying/) and citizens have been warning about for years, trying to encourage the Public Institution Marjan Forest Park to be more active. Bark beetle infection was established three years ago and it infected a third of the forest. The construction of tractor trails will further slow down other works that can already be carried out and whose implementation has begun and then stopped for unknown reasons, such as the removal of infected trees and the installation of pheromone traps. Although we were invited by the director to talk about the planned works for the construction of tractor trails and we participated in it, we believe that the whole process was not conducted transparently and openly and citizens and professionals are served solutions whose validity is not confirmed by experts.
- Efficiency of management and protection measures – Considering that Marjan Forest Park is the most valuable part of nature in the city of Split (https://sunce-st.org/en/vijesti_en/how-much-is-marjan-forest-park-really-worth/), its protection and management should be focused on its maintenance and improvement, to which these invasive works will certainly not contribute. Considering the previous inefficiency of the competent institutions, we believe that the restoration of forests, trails and roads to their original state is very questionable and that this project opens up opportunities for new building plots and further devastation of Marjan.
Therefore, we support the citizens in their efforts to take measures to preserve Marjan as soon as possible. We believe that a solution should be found that will enable fast and urgent control of bark beetles, rehabilitation and biological regeneration of the forest without further delay, and taking into account the approach of spring and the activation of bark beetles. We believe that it is necessary to gather and hire forestry experts who, in addition to the public institution, will be involved in activities to control bark beetles, remediation and biological regeneration of the forest. Namely, the current attitude of the Public Institution towards the problem of bark beetles does not indicate sufficient capacities, knowledge and experience to solve this problem independently.
Association Sunce Split