Zdeněk Bluďovský

In August, price of raw wood dropped by 8.5 per cent against the same period of the last year and against the level of December 1999 considered a statistical benchmark even by 12.7 per cent.

No other commodity observed by price statistics of industrial producers shows such rate of decrease, perhaps with exception of lignite and brown coal dropping by 11.4 percent from December 1999.

Decreased price appreciation of decisive forestry production begins to threaten economic balance of most forest estates regardless their ownership category. The local demand for forestry production linked to local consumption has been low for different reasons and has influenced market prices only in a reduced scale. Majority of the most significant wood manufacturers’ production is directed to foreign markets. Is the current price slash of raw wood affected namely by the situation at international wood markets?

Namely sawlog assortments III A have the marked share in price drop. European market prices of spruce sawn round wood have kept at the same level after the drop in the half of 2000 and during this year they even have risen a little. Similar steep drop of sawn wood prices like in the CR has not been observed in any other European country. The drop of sawn wood stopped in the beginning of the year and there is hardly any link of sawn wood and saw round wood price development.

It is obvious the reasons of steep drop of saw round wood during the first half of 2002 do not consist that much in decreased prices of this assortment at neighbouring foreign markets neither in sawn wood prices drop in Europe. Neither the effect of strong Czech currency is so marked. Then only can be assumed the strong pressure is generated by effort to solve economic problems of manufacturers by this way, namely related to saw production profitability.

Igor Míchal (pp. 463-464)

Ideas on significance of single forest functions as accepted by the society and fostered by various groups has been developing revolutionarily since the half of the 20th century. However the landscape-forming function ranks last among the non-production functions.

Polls show the Czech society prefers in forest their climatic effects and impact on water and fresh air resources the most. Considerable importance is attributed to forests as convenient soothing environment that enhances our countryside. The Nature protection Act 114/1992, §3.b in accord with majority common opinion considers any forest an important landscape element, i.e. environmentally, geomorphologically, or aesthetically valuable landscape component forming its typical appearance or contributing to its ecological stability conservation. All “non-forest” ways of land use in non-regulated market economy make for fading and environmentally poorer appearance of our landscape out of which natural and original remnants vanish. On the contrary productive forests geobiocoenoses remain the only places of natural communities occurrences in cultural intensively used landscape (apart from unfertilised dry lawns and not yet reclaimed wetlands).

Experience in application of nature-protection and recreation functions of production forests.

- Forestry represents more or less landscape forming activity.

- Present forestry cannot only aim at negotiable wood production. It will provide different forest functions both on its own accord and on own costs or being fostered from outside, for payment, or in combination of all the three manners (most probably).

- For localities where non-production function exceeds the value of wood production the forestry policy should be conceived as a part of national environmental policy.

- Private owners are handicapped by gaps in economic appreciation of true forest benefits to the society. They have to bear growing derogation (air pollution, acid rains, excessive tourism, water intake resulting in forest soils drying, e.t.c.) and they provide the decisive social benefits - “non-production functions” mostly for free.

Based on satellite image analysis by a uniform European classification 13 per cent of the CR is covered with nature-close ecosystems, out of which 11 per cents are forests (1/3 of Czech forests). Ecosystems far-off-nature cover 86.9 per cent of the territory out of which 22.5 per cent are formed by improper coniferous monocultures.