Central Europe is a renowned forest area for the quality of its mixed forests, where reign abundant beech groves finding fresh and limestone soils at the specie’s convenience ; conifers and miscellaneous woods are also well represented in this area.
The Carpathian massif, second largest mountain range in Europe, stretches over 8 central European countries and covers 209,000 km² of which 53% in Romania.
In these grandiose landscapes where the traditional transhumance of horses and sheeps is an on-going activity, lives the largest European population of predators : brown bears, lynx, wolves, wild cats and nearly half of the European population of golden eagles.
In total, more than 1,500 animal species live here in the wild, including buffalos, cervidae, boars, chamois, elks, groundhogs and a lot of other mammals, birds including capercaillie, fish, batrachians, insects, reptiles and molluscs.
The Romanian Carpathians Mountains, with peak at 2,544 m, are still covered by nearly 400,000 ha of primary forests among the last in Europe, which, nestled aloft and protected by inaccessible steep slopes have thus escaped human appetite.
There stand exceptionally old and sized trees of remarkable quality.
Below these sanctuaries protected in the form of natural parks or reserves, grow other forests of same vein, but where human activity has manifested itself, most often in the form of sanitation cuts.
During the 1945-1989 period, with Romania falling under a totalitarian regime, the state improperly nationalizes all forests belonging to private and legal entities to become the sole owner of the wooded areas.
The 1989 revolution put an end to the dictatorship and helped to restore democracy as early as 1990. The adopted law thus try to rectify the injustices of the totalitarian system and most forests have been given back or are being transferred to the rightful owners.
The percentage of private forest, whose total area has reached 6,400,000 ha, is about 50%. In terms of forest management, the communist state proved to be a considerate forester, respectful towards the forests as one, creating many quality infrastructures (paved roads, bridges, protection against erosion,…) to enhance and protect the resource and its access. As a sole proprietor, it has widely concentrated on the capital preservation, allowing rare sanitation cuts without considering economic viability through excessive harvesting.
While forestry is an important activity at the national level, of which about half the volume is absorbed by local processing and production, due to a lack of information and training, due to a lack of rigorous management, it is not sufficiently respectful of the exceptional environment enjoyed by the country.
Although Romania had allocated 30% of its resources to soil and water protection, only 5% of its total area had been devoted to biodiversity conservation.
Although at medium altitude, the Carpathian arc is home to Europe's largest uninterrupted forest, a veritable mosaic of different environments: old-growth and undeveloped forests, managed forests, regeneration forests and coppice, pastures.
Management plans were generally very conservative, allowing only small quantities per hectare to be cut.
Established for ten-year periods, they could be modified at the owner's initiative, in consultation with local government experts or the owner's own management unit, in order to decide on more dynamic, more efficient and more profitable management.
However, as this management entailed expertise costs that the current owners or their heirs could not bear, especially after lengthy and costly restitution trials, since 2014, Fayswood, had engaged with EFCE in order to meet a growing demand for expertise and forest management.
Nevertheless throughout this period, we came up against incessant illegal logging to the point where we decided, even before the invasion of the neighbouring country, to end our activities.
Our memories are of prestigious forests, populated by an incredibly rich fauna.