How forest pathology acts work

Imagine you catch a cold and fall sick. Symptoms develop fast: shivers, shakes and sudden chills turn to sweats and sleepless nights. A fever’s struck.

For the brave or foolhardy, now’s the time to call for a stiff upper lip; for everyone else, a doctor. When your health is poor, you need expert knowledge to diagnose and treat whatever ails you. After all, there’s no point in, say, lopping off a limb if all you need is some rest and relaxation.

A similar thing happens with a sick forest in Russia. If pests or disease take root, a professional known as a forest pathologist can carry out a tree health check. The specialist conducts a detailed study to see if sanitary felling is needed, jotting down details on: which tree or trees are dead or damaged, their number and distribution within a forest lease, the expert’s diagnosis for the problems observed and their suggested treatment.69 70 

Like doctors, forest pathologists in Russia are responsible for their decisions. Based on their detailed reports, a plan to treat the trees is drawn up which, if approved by the relevant regional body – the provincial forestry ministry, in this case – is posted on the regional authority’s website and sent to Russia’s federal forest agency, Rosleskhoz, for review.71

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