RMK started afforestation of exhausted oil shale quarries  26.04

RMK started to build a new forest in three exhausted oil shale quarries in Ida-Viru County. In Aidu, Vanaküla and Narva quarries, a new forest is planned to be planted this spring on 103 hectares. The works have been ordered and financed by Eesti Energia Kaevandused AS.
For afforestation, the most suitable saplings for disadvantageous habitats are used – the Scots pine and silver birch. Approximately 10 hectares is planned to be renewed by mechanised sowing of Scots pines. Afforestation of the quarries is organised by the employees of RMK and carried out by contractors of RMK. “Since the work needs to be carried out in a short period of time, when the humidity level of the soil is suitable, 150-200 people will be working on afforestation at the same time,” Ilmar Paal, Silviculture Manager at the North-East Region of RMK said.

RMK’s work in the afforestation of exhausted oil shale quarries has taken place since the establishment of the organisation, and only planting volumes have varied over the years. In the autumn of 2010, Eesti Energia Kaevandused AS organised a public adjudication for finding a contractor, and the contract for services for renewing the quarry areas was concluded with RMK, the winner.

Another oil shale mining undertaking in Ida-Viru County, Kiviõli Keemiatööstuse OÜ, has also submitted an application for the afforestation of exhausted oil shale quarries. Last year, RMK planted 12 hectares of new forest on an exhausted quarry belonging to this undertaking. Negotiations are currently on-going regarding afforestation of the 32-hectare exhausted quarry in Northern Kiviõli.

Afforestation of exhausted quarries in Estonia first began in the 1930s, with ore than 10 000 hectares of exhausted quarrying areas having been restored. The cultivated areas are under the close attention and monitoring of scientists, and are the subject of several scientific works. Due to their age, a number of former forest cultures have returned to forest management use, and the volume of thinning in the region is increasing rapidly.

RMK is a non-profit organisation established under the Forest Act, and its main purpose is to manage state forests sparingly and effectively. RMK grows forest renewal materials, organises forest works, carries out practical works on nature protection and sells forest and timber. In addition, RMK creates opportunities for spending time in nature or enjoying a forest vacation on recreational areas, Estonia’s five national parks and 40 other protected areas, as well as shaping nature awareness. RMK manages 38% of Estonia’s forests.

Additional information:
Ilmar Paal
Silviculture Manager at the North-East Region of RMK
Tel: 676 7512, 504 5512