I wish I could say the same for our primeval forest, Białowieza. Logging has already started.About half of the forest is still considered pristine, meaning those areas have never faced significant intervention since the forest's formation some 8,000 to 9,000 years ago after the end of the last ice age. That has left it with a complex diversity of species unknown in the second-growth forests elsewhere in Europe's lowlands. Even IKEA, which relies on Polish timber for 25 percent of its global furniture production, vowed years ago not to buy any wood from Bialowieza.
Jaroslaw Kaczynski, not the President of Poland, not the Prime Minister of Poland but a powerful leader of the PiS party who won the last election, says he's on a mission to remake the country from top to bottom in line with the party's conservative Catholic and patriotic ideology. Since taking power in November, Poland's government has moved quickly to push broad changes in everything from cultural institutions to horse breeding farms and forestry management.
Jan Szyszko, the environmental minister, last week dismissed 32 of 39 scientific experts on the State Council for Nature Conservation after they criticized the logging plan. They have since been replaced by people who mainly come from the forestry and hunting sectors that favor greater wood extraction. Their council's new leader, Wanda Olech-Piasecka, also supports limited commercial hunting of bison, an endangered species.
There have been protests against the logging but they do not stop it. I can see similar things like this happening soon in the U.S.