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Environmental inspectors halt logging in the High Tatras’ valleys

Forests TANAP, the state-run company that oversees the forests in the High Tatra mountains, said on April 26 that it had halted its logging activities in the Tichá and Kôprová valleys in compliance with the orders of environmental inspectors earlier that day.

State Forests TANAP head Peter Liška said the company has accepted the inspectors' orders and stopped extracting trees that were flattened in the severe windstorm that took place in November 2004.

The inspectors took action following repeated interventions by police against organizations such as Greenpeace who had been holding anti-logging protests for weeks.

Agriculture Minister Miroslav Jureňa said on April 26 that he regarded the halting of the harvesting of wood left in the Tichá Dolina and Kôprová Dolina valleys after the windstorm as purposeful obstruction and a waste of time.

According to Jureňa, the situation in these locations is not being taken lightly given the fact that there were more than 10 million bark beetles recorded there last year alone.

Jureňa said that Juraj Lukáč from the environmental organization VLK, who said there were 377 nests of protected birds recorded in the location, was lying.

Environment Ministry State Secretary Jaroslav Jaduš told journalists on April 26 that he did not think the move was particularly drastic.

In his opinion, the ministry will use the stop in harvesting as a chance to effectively and quickly review the situation. Jaduš said that the main problem in this case was the effort of some of the non-governmental organizations to attract attention.

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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