Greenpeace and the World Wide Fund for Nature appealed to Dmitry Kobylkin, the Minister of Natural Resources and Ecology, with a demand to restore the status of spawning forests located along the rivers Volyuga, Veryuga, and Padoma in Ustyansky forestry in Arkhangelsk Oblast. Vasilisa Yagodina, the coordinator of the Forest Program of Greenpeace Russia, told 7x7 about this on June 4.
According to the appeal, ecologists worry about the fate of the rivers in Ustyansky forestry of Arkhangelsk Oblast. Federal Forestry Agency eliminated all spawning zones in the forests of Ustyansky forestry by its decree of December 27, 2019. A part of the spawning zones was assigned to other categories of protecting forests, and the forest along the rivers Volyuga, Veryuga, and Padoma was completely transferred to the exploitable category — which means that it can be cut down.
The authors of the appeal believe that total loss of spawning zones in the forestry is 15 thousand hectares.
At the same time, ecologists pay attention to the fact that back in 2014, the rivers Volyuga, Veryuga, and Padoma were classified as spawning sites for Atlantic salmon.
— Clear-cut harvesting operations at the sites along these rivers where spawning zones used to be are going to lead to a deterioration of the living and spawning conditions of these valuable fish to the point of their extinction, as it has already happened with many spawning rivers in the North-West of Russia, — Dmitry Gorshkov, the Head of WWF, and Sergey Tsyplenkov, the Director of the Russian branch of Greenpeace, wrote in the appeal.
The authors of the appeal are asking Minister Dmitry Kobylkin to take measures to restore the status of protecting forests for areas that had been included into the list of spawning zones of forests and to take measures to give the status of fisheries protected zones to all spawning zones of forests that existed before December 27, 2018.
Spawning zones are a special category of forests created in 1958 in order to preserve riverfronts near water reservoirs where valuable and highly valuable fish species, such as salmonids, sturgeons, and others, come to spawn. They protect riverbanks from soil erosion, spring floods, and the decrease of river discharges in summer.