RMK building about 500 kilometres of forest roads this year  08.09

The State Forest Management Centre (RMK) has commissioned the construction and renovation of more than 489 kilometres of forest roads and the reconstruction of 23 800 hectares of drainage systems across Estonia this year. These investments and regular maintenance works will require an annual outlay of EUR 23.3 million.

According to Margus Reimann, Head of the RMK Forest Improvement Department, the most works this year are being carried out in Pärnu and Ida-Viru Counties, Estonia’s richest in terms of forest. “Works are also being carried out on a significant scale in Jõgeva, Lääne-Viru, Valga and Põlva Counties, where, depending on the county, EUR 1.3 to 1.8 million is being invested in sites due for completion,” Reimann said. Only in Hiiu County will roads and drainage systems not be completed this year.

The majority of works will be completed in September / October, with RMK being serviced by more than 50 companies. In total, approximately 200 sites will be completed this year.

In 2014, RMK invested EUR 23.6 million in the reconstruction and maintenance of forest roads and drainage systems. This funded the construction and renovation of 267 kilometres of roads and the reconstruction of more than 7000 hectares of drainage systems. As a rule, forest improvement works at a site go on for two years.

According to Margus Reimann, overall investment volumes will also fall within the same range in the coming years. “Our hope is to complete the reconstruction of old drainage systems by 2020/2022, with just regular maintenance works left for a while; however, road construction is an ongoing process,” he said. “For the existing roads, we are allowing a renovation cycle of 30 years.”

Forest road construction and old drainage system reconstruction are being undertaken to improve forest access, make it easier to carry out forest works, and preserve the additional increment and improved quality of timber achieved through previous drainage. According to the estimates of researchers, approximately million cubic metres of additional timber is grown in Estonia every year thanks to forest drainage. An improved network of forest roads is also important for putting out forest fires, while also making it more convenient for mushroom / berry pickers and nature hikers to find their way around in the forests.

RMK is the keeper, protector and manager of the forest and other natural biotic communities belonging to the Estonian state. RMK earns a profit for the state through forest management, growing reforestation material, and organising forest and nature protection works. In addition, RMK establishes opportunities for nature walking and shapes nature awareness. RMK consists of the Sagadi Forest Centre, the Elistvere Animal Park, the Tartu Tree Nursery, AS Eesti Metsataim and the Põlula Fish Farm. More than 700 people work for RMK, and approximately 5000 people are contracted to work in the state forest.

For more information on forest improvement and other works being carried out in forest, go to: www.rmk.ee/eluring

Further information:
Margus Reimann
Head of the RMK Forest Improvement Department
Tel: 502 1510
e-mail margus.reimann@rmk.ee