Forest roads: how the problem is solved

One of the pressing problems of forestry management remains the insufficiency of transport infrastructure - forest roads necessary for access to plots and removal of wood. Including due to a lack of routes, a significant part of the estimated logging area in the country is not used.

The Russian Forest Association has repeatedly raised the issue of constructing forest roads and proposed solutions. Improving the legal regulation of this area is reflected in the list of instructions of the President of Russia following the meeting on the development of the timber industry complex in February 2023.

At the end of 2023, OPORA RUSSIA and the Russian Timber Association prepared proposals for finalizing draft Federal Law No. 501213-8 “On Amendments to the Forest Code of the Russian Federation,” regulating the creation of forest roads on forest lands. The draft law passed the first reading in the State Duma, and appropriate amendments are now being actively developed.

• The first proposal is about how to create forest roads. Currently, their construction is possible only within the boundaries of a leased forest plot, and forest users were forced to register access roads as linear objects - highways. This week a working meeting of the relevant committee in the State Duma was held, during which Rosleskhoz confirmed that this issue will be resolved.

• The second proposal concerns the cutting of trees during the construction of forest roads in protective forests and in especially protected areas. Appropriate formulations on this issue are being prepared, which will soon be proposed for agreement with the expert community.

• And the third point is to provide the opportunity to create forest roads for SMEs that are engaged in timber harvesting on the basis of purchase and sale agreements for forest plantations. The proposal was supported by the State Duma, the Federation Council and Rosleskhoz.