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Death Lump

What damage, except for the economic, is done by the teams of delicacy gourds in Primorye

Death Lump
Photo: ohotniki.ru
Recently, in Primorye, a pine cone collector was shot on the taiga road. According to one version, he was killed by competitors. According to another, one of those who tried to defend the taiga from wild-type collectors who set fires fatally wounded him. And the taiga in Primorye is blazing - even a special fire protection regime has been introduced in the region. It provides mainly enhanced preventive measures in the form of water harvesting in settlements bordering forests, restoration of mineralized belts, as well as a ban on citizens from being in forests under the threat of million fines.

The culprits of fires are called collectors of wild plants, which in the Ussuri taiga now, when the pine nut has matured, are thousands.

According to Vladimir Bondarenko, the chief of the environmental department of the administration of the Partizansky Municipal District, at present collection of wild plants is regulated by the regional law "On the use of forests in Primorsky Krai" and the Forest Code of the Russian Federation. According to these documents, citizens have the right to stay in the forest and collect for their needs mushrooms, berries, cones, ferns.

- But to legally engage in procurement on an industrial scale, a person must conclude a lease of a forest plot. To do this, you need to win an auction and perform forest management works, the cost of which can reach several hundred thousand rubles. Ordinary citizens, and small businesses can not afford it. Previously, it was different - a person in the leshoz received a so-called forest ticket, paid some kopek and went to the taiga. The state received money, albeit small. And the leshozes knew people, and in the event of any emergency situations, the same fires, they understood whom to look for. Then this rule was canceled, and we got uncontrolled collection and fires. Spring in the taiga are fern collectors, in the autumn - bumps, - he says.

He conventionally divides all "throngers" into two categories. The first is the villagers, who collect the product for their own needs, and to earn some money. Now in different parts of the region kilograms of cones cost from 65 to 75 rubles, and a bag, respectively, about one and a half thousand rubles.

The second category is brigades specially sent to the taiga for a nut. They have high-traffic vehicles, tools for processing cones on a nut. Often in such teams are guest workers who require a minimum payment, or antisocial citizens who are ready to work for food. These wild collectors, he continues, file trees, climb upwards with the help of "cats", peeling off the bark. Often, after such injuries, the trees are not restored. Plus bonfires that have not been extinguished, growing into fires. If this goes on and on, that in 5-6 years in the coastal taiga there will be no cedar broadleaf forests.

It's no secret that in every village in the immediate vicinity of the taiga, there are reception points where raw materials buy so-called "bribes". Further, the walnut - legally and illegally - is sent to China.

- According to our estimates, no one is officially counting here, in the harvest year, a minimum of 200 million dollars worth of walnut is exported to the Celestial Empire. This is a huge, uncontrolled black market, - Vladimir Bondarenko concludes, noting that in addition to the direct losses that the state incurs from the actions of the "bigwigs", there are still losses from fires and the costs of their liquidation.

According to Aleksei Karasev, Coordinator for the use of cedar forests of the Far East of the National Union of Producers and Producers of Wildcats, now in Primorye 7-8 organizations that collect wild plants and simultaneously have plots of land. Karasev himself - the director of one of them - OOO "Proizvodstvenno-zagotovitelnaya base." The company has a plot of 27 thousand hectares in the Chuguevsky district. The enterprise deals not only with the collection of nuts, but also eleutherococcus, magnolia vine and some other wild plants, from which it prepares semi-finished products. Thus, Chaga goes to Japan, the rest - to pharmaceutical factories in Russia. According to Alexei Karasev, this year, on their site, unlike many other places in the taiga, a cedar crop was cropped.

- And we suffer from this. So in general, in the taiga nut a little, all the collectors came to us. We are tired of overclocking them. About 15 people around the clock ply on the site, extinguish fires, look who is there. We have no right to expel them, we attract foresters, and those who find a felled tree, a fire set up, can be punished. Tenants have duties to protect the plots, but they have no authority to fight violators, he says.

In addition, the interlocutor of EastRussia emphasizes that illegal collectors of wild-growing plants create unfair competition - they do not have to pay rent, taxes, or incur operating costs.

- For our site, not the largest in Primorye, we pay 2,5 million rent per year - no matter whether there is a nut or not. Plus, about the same amount every year we invest in forest care and fire prevention measures, "he says.

Experts believe that the situation needs to be regulated by legislation: the collection should be conducted by enterprises and individual entrepreneurs bearing responsibility for their activities. Perhaps this will be the introduction of the right to the so-called short-term lease - the same forest tickets.

Also, you need to limit the amount of harvesting the same nuts for your own needs. At the same time, experts emphasize that speeches about how to completely expel people from the taiga do not go - for the inhabitants of many villages where work is bad, gathering wild plants is a way to feed and earn extra money.

- A person has the right to come to the forest and prepare for himself, but not for sale. But how are we doing now? The man has prepared ostensibly for himself - 50 tons. And then he said that he needed to realize his property, and the Civil Code allows him to do it. One of our proposals is to limit the amount of collection for their own needs. According to the National Union of Wildlife Harvesters and Processors, 40-50 has enough kilograms of nuts per person in the family, he notes.

There are legal collectors of wild plants and other problems. When they receive a plot for rent, the contract provides that they will be able to produce only certain amounts of a particular product. If they want to expand the list, they will have to go through a lot of approvals again.

"If these and other issues are resolved and legal algorithms are introduced into the legislation, this business can be beneficial for us and safe for nature," said Alexei Karasev.
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