Violators will have to pay about 2 million litas for gross forest felling violations2014-03-17
“Chopping down more than three hectares of national park pine forest is a huge crime against nature. Transgressors must be punished as strictly as possible,” said Minister of Environment Valentinas Mazuronis in reference to gross illegal felling reported in a private forest property within the Dzūkija National Park.
According to officials from the Alytus territorial subdivision of the Forest monitoring division of the State Forest Survey under the Ministry of Environment, 3.2 hectares of middle-aged forest were cut illegally. According to specialists, the work was done “professionally” - biodiverse trees were kept intact. Preliminary investigations indicate that more than 600 cubic meters of timber were harvested. An investigation has begun into how the violators were able to chop down such a large area without being noticed.
The violators will have to pay 2 million litas for damages done to the park's environment instead of the 2 hundred thousand that they would have had to pay before because the damage fees are being calculated according to new illegal felling environmental damage compensation formulas. These were increased tenfold by Minister of Environment Valentinas Mazuronis at the beginning of the month.
Violators will face not only administrative responsibility, but criminal responsibility as well. Information about this gross violation has been transferred to the Kaunas county Alytus neighborhood public prosecutor. The Varėna regional police headquarters have begun a pre-trial criminal investigation.
Public information division