Similarly to many other Baltic countries, Lithuania’s forest sector influences its local economy, environment, and people. In addition, the level of Lithuania’s forest biodiversity is markedly higher than that of many other nation-states in Western Europe. Due to the most recent drastic changes in the country’s politics and economy, the conservation of natural riches has become a significant yet complicated task.
As the scope of wood cutting increases, it becomes insufficient to just plant and re-grow a forest. Biodiversity is declining world-wide, and it is ever more important to preserve appropriate conditions for all organisms that can be found in Lithuanian forests. We aim at creating at least minimal conditions for the survival of rare and endangered species in commercial forests. We think that the current forests under protection are turned into commercial forests. We hope that in the future they will be used for the preservation of their riches rather than for the sole purpose of timber extraction.
Since 2002, the Lithuanian Fund for Nature operates to encourage a responsible use of forests. In order to provide some practical examples of such use of forests, we have created two educational trails in cooperation with the private forest owners. In this fashion, we aim at attracting the attention of both society and forest owners to the most important natural components of our forests and in a practical way show various ways of forest use, ways that cause least damage to forests.
In forest maintenance, the most important ingredient is responsibility. Responsible or not, it is a forest owner or manager who will determine the condition of our forests and its future for our future generations.