State Forests - 90

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          The takeover of private forests by the state laid down assumptions for setting up Biržai Forest Enterprise whereas the boundaries of the Forest Enterprise were determined by Biržai/Pasvalys County and subsequent Biržai County establishment in 1925. At the time, most of the state forests within the confines of current Biržai Forest Enterprise were located northeastward from Panevėžys. The state forest area was to expand upon the takeover of private forests by the State. The resolution to set up Biržai Forest Enterprise was adopted. Mykolas Nekrasovas was appointed as the director. He commenced the takeover ofprivate forests and formation of the Forest Enterprise authorities. Thus Biržai Forest Enterprise began functioning in 1921. The Forest Enterprise comprised 14 forest districts, a total of about 41 thousand hectares of forests.

In the prewar period, the Forest Enterprise accounted for scarcely 7 structured forest districts. Such a scheme with minor modifications persisted until after the war.

            On 1 August 1945 Biržai Forest-based Industry Unit was set up thereby taking over the command of overall regional forests.

Sausinamasis griovys Biržų girioje, iškastas rankiniu būdu, 1959 m.  1971-ųjų miškasodis Būginių girininkijoje

           In 1947 Biržai Forest-based Industry Unit organized forest management accounting whereby the forests were divided into 10 forest districts of Joniškėlis, Krinčinas, Biržai, Nemunėlis Radviliškis, Nemunėlis, Ageniškis, Vinkšniniai, Gegužiai, Daujėnai and Vabalninkas. Those forest districts underlay the establishment of Biržai Forestry on 1 October 1947 whereas the industrial function was delegated to Panevėžys Forest-based Industry Unit. The then Biržai Forestry authorities consisted of the director, chief forester, 2 or 3 engineers, 10 forestry officers, 10 deputy forestry officers, 10 inspectors, 75 forest guards, 16 accounting office employees and 11 stableman. A significant decrease in the scope of lumbering caused the setting up of alogging point meanwhile reinstated Pasvalys Forestry took charge of the forests in the given district. According to the data on the organization of forest exploitation 1960 Biržai forestry merely covered the area of 24.4 thousand hectares.

Biržų miško pramonės ūkio darbuotojų kolektyvas, 1968 m. Savoje stichijoje. Vyr. miškininkas S.Atraškevičius, Būginių g-jos girininkas L.Vegner, 1974 m.

           The year of 1967 saw the reorganization of Biržai Forestry into Biržai Forest-based Industry Unit. A smallwood-processing workshop was expanded and upgraded, the Logging Point was equipped with proper machinery, forest drainage and road construction in forests developed to a great extent, the framework of permanent haul roads was created.

            When Biržai Forestry and Pasvalys Forestry were restructured into a Forest Enterprise association in 1981, Biržai Forest-based Industry Unit became a parent company. According to the data on the organization of forest exploitation 1973,the forests of the said Forest Enterprise association covered the area of about 40 thousand hectares. There were over 700 km of forests drained, over 1.300 km of drainage ditches excavated, 12 settlements for workers established and the Forestry Centre founded in Biržai/Pasvalys incorporate forestry.

Biržų MŪGS administracinis pastatas, 1976 m. Medienos ruoša 1970-aisiais

Biržai Forestry production association, as well as others, was liquidated in 1987. Biržai forestry and Pasvalys Forestry were reconstructed into Biržai Forest-based Industry Unit in 1988.

            When Lithuania regained its independence (on 11 March 1990), forest economic activities underwent major changes: a centrally planned economy began to adapt to the free market and the interwar private forestholdings were returned to their owners. By Order of the Ministry of Forestry, Biržai Forest-based Industry Unit was renamed the Forestry on 5 May 1990 and later on 1 August 1990 it was denominated Biržai Forest Enterprise.


The modern-day Biržai State Forest Enterprise is ranked the 11th largest forest area among 42 Lithuanian forest enterprises.


It administers, operates and conducts integral forest management activities in state forests held under the trust. 60 thousand hectares of forest, almost 31 thousand of which are owned by the state, is a concern of Biržai/Pasvalys region’s foresters. The majority (89%) of the Forest Enterprise’s state-owned forests serve the economic purpose (Group 4). Group 3 (protection) forests account for 6.8% while Group 2 (special purpose) forests make up 4.2%. 20.5 thousand and 10.3 thousand hectares of state forests are located in Biržai District and Pasvalys District respectively.

Biržai Forest covering the area of 16,770 hectares (ranked the 10th largest forest in the republic) is the largest forest of the Forest Enterprise. It is a unique and very distinctive forest characterized by colourful background, rich biological diversity, rare plants and animals and good forest roads. The following are other larger forests: Medžvalakiai, Dirvoniškis (2520 ha, Būginiai Forest District), a section of Žalioji Forest (1890 ha, Krikliniai Forest District), Lepšynė and Girelė Forests (1210 ha and 1090 ha respectively, Joniškėlis Forest District) and Raudonbalė Forest (770 ha, Vabalninkas Forest District). Forests are divided into 912 blocks. The average block area is 34 hectares.

The forests grow in fertile and moist soil consequently the prevailing forest stands are mixed type, self-generating, and highly productive. Forest stand distribution according to the prevailing tree species (expressed as a percentage of the total land ): birch 35%, spruce 25%, ash and oak 6%, alder 9%, pine 9%, aspen 10%, grey alder 5%. The forest stand average age is 46 years and the average volume is 184 m3/ha.

722 km of unpaved forest roads have been surfaced with gravel over four decades. Biržai Forest is divided by 450 km road and 700 km drainage ditch network lengthwise and every half a kilometre crosswise.

The state-owned forests of the Forest Enterprise are administered by 9 forest districts of Latveliai, Tamošiūnai, Spalviškiai, Būginiai, Biržai, Vabalninkas, Pasvalys, Joniškėlis and Krikliniai. The forest district staff is engaged in the direct protection and handling of the state-owned forests and forests subject to privatization. The area of the forest districts ranges from 1.8 thousand hectares (Vabalninkas Forest District) to 4.9 thousand hectares (Būginiai Forest District).

The activities of the Forest Enterprise are regulated by public authorities, educational institutions, and planning organizations. The key activities conducted by Biržai Forest Enterprise include reforestation and afforestation, forest handling, cultivation, protection, adjustment to the recreational, cognitive, and tourism needs of the population, as well as logging and trade. We advise private forest owners, offer forest economic services, trade in seedlings for woodland and decorative planting, as well as encourage students to take interest in forestry, ecology, and the values of the native land.

Historical Discovery 1999

About 20 charred oak logs were excavated while digging a pond in the Forest Enterprise nursery area in the autumn of 1999. Found in 2-3 meters depth under the ground, the logs appeared ancient and cracked however cutting a piece of oak with a power saw turned out to be quite a challenge – inside, the log looked like iron rather than wood. The biggest log was 6 m long and 60 cm thick. The cut oak rolls were sent to researchers at the Institute of Geology, Laboratory of Dendroclimatochronology, Kaunas Botanical Garden, Vytautas Magnus University for investigation.
The expert conclusions surpassed all speculations: the oak was 6500-7000 years old. The oak logs were found preserved in turf relatively well. It may be the oldest wood ever excavated not only in Lithuania.


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