Over 50% of local population take a favourable view on forest maintenance2016-08-18
According to a representative survey recently conducted by Baltijos tyrimai (based on assignment by Biržai forestry enterprise), over 50% of local population take a favourable view on forest maintenance. In fact, young adults up to 30 years old, residents of Alytus, Panevėžys, Tauragė, and Telšiai counties and those of major cities, as well as university graduates account for majority of respondents who believe Lithuania has insured an adequate forest maintenance.
Almost 50% of the respondents believe managers of State forests and forestry enterprises are better at managing forests, while 25% of the respondents believe owners of private forests do better. Families that own private forest usually believe owners of private forests perform better. Most respondents would like to have more State forests, and under 10% of them prefer more private forests.
When asked if they find the forestation level sufficient in Lithuania, 50% answered in the affirmative, while 4 out of 10 respondents find the level inadequate. Residents of Tauragė, Telšiai, Kaunas, Šiauliai, and Panevėžys counties preferred to see forestation levels increase.
Some 75% of the respondents have been to forest over the last 12 months. Over 50% of them preferred mushroom picking, over 20%, picking blueberries, 1 out of 6, picking wild strawberries, and just over 10%, raspberries and dry firewood. Every 1 out of 20 of the respondents preferred picking cowberries, cranberries, herbs, and hazelnuts, while 2% of the respondents practiced hunting.
It turns out that men tend to use forests for hunting, picking mushrooms and hazelnuts, or for walks, while women prefer berry and herb picking. As many as 25% of the respondents indicated turning to forests for dry wood or firewood (both in 2015 and 2016). Some 20% of the respondents have indicated that picking of mushrooms and berries for sale or family consumption presents an important source of extra income.
Every 1 out of 6 respondents have some private forest land, including 25% in rural areas, every 1 out of 6 families in smaller towns, and 10% of families in major cities.
The survey has revealed that the public is well aware, and takes a very positive view of the traditional campaign Bring Christmas to Your Home (Parsinešk Kalėdas į savo namus); on that occasion, forestry professionals make available spruce branches in most crowded places nationwide, and free of charge, just before Christmas, for house decoration purposes. An absolute majority of local residents support the campaign seeking to reduce the number of spruce trees cut down.