Bikin needs to be protected once and forever
On June 27, at the meeting in the village of Luchegorsk, which was organized against timber harvesting in the Bikin River basin, the chief of the Forestry Department of Primorsky Province, Dmitry Rybnikov announced that JSC “Les Export” was officially rejected in the lease of new protective forest sites with total area 407 316 hectares in the middle reaches of the Bikin River. The Prosecutor’s office of Primorsky Province made its statements as well.
It should be added, that the auction for the lot #9 on the lease located in the green zone of Pozharsky district settlements, against which the general public was protesting on June 27 at the meeting in Luchegorsk, and which was appointed on June 29 2011, did not take place. Numerous appeals of the heads of the settlement administrations, of deputies of the district Duma, appeals of public organizations and citizens of Pozharsky district to the Governor of Primorsky province as well as the appeals of the participants of the meeting had been finally heard.
“We’re glad that the position of the Primorsky Province administration is consistent with ours, - says Yury Darman, director of WWF Russia Amur branch. – But it’s yet too early to celebrate the victory and be satisfied with what has been achieved. Bikin needs full guarantees to be protected, which can be achieved only with the status of federal territory of traditional nature use. Moreover, we already have negative experience when the Forestry Department of Primorsky Province refused JSC “Les Export” to lease two forest sites in the lower reaches of the Bikin River – in Pozharskaya nut harvesting zone and on the territory of planned “Sredneussuriisky” wildlife refuge, but the company put these decisions in issue at the arbitration board of Vladivostok, which decided in favor of the forest company. I assume, the Prosecutor’s office should sort out this issue.”