Hundreds of Czech scouts are currently in the United States taking part in the movement’s World Jamboree, which is being attended by 40,000 people from all around the globe. I spoke to Czech Radio’s reporter Jakub Lucký, who is on the ground in West Virginia, and asked him to tell me more about the Czech presence at this year’s international gathering:
Some 500 Czech Scouts and Guides are heading to the United States for the
movement’s World Jamboree, which runs from July 22 to August 2.
They will rally under the motto "Unbreakable". The aim is to both highlight the suppression of the Czech movement under totalitarianism – by the Nazis and later by the Communists – and to celebrate its revival 30 years ago in their newly democratic country.
Today there are some 65,000 Scouts and Guides in the Czech Republic.
The state-owned forestry company Česke Lesy saw a 70 million crown loss in
profit in 2018, down from 3.08 billion crowns the previous year.
The reason was a significant fall in the price of timber due to the bark-beetle calamity that has hit many areas of Bohemia and Moravia, which resulted in extensive logging.
Logging in infested areas was given top priority while other plans were shelved, which meant that the company mainly did business with lower quality timber.
České Lesy owns almost half of the forests in the country.
The current dry weather in the Czech Republic is facilitating the reproduction of the bark beetle, which destroys spruce trees. Indeed, the voracious insect began swarming a week earlier this year than in 2018, which saw the most costly bark beetle infestation in this part of the world for a full two centuries.
The Ministry of Agriculture as of April will have enhanced powers to
regulate timber harvesting and afforestation if necessary to minimize
damage by the ongoing bark beetle calamity.
President President Miloš Zeman signed into law an amendment to the Forestry Act, saying it has become clear that existing extraordinary measures are insufficient, his spokesman told the news agency ČTK.
The bark beetle infestation affecting spruce forests throughout the country in 2018 was said to have been the worst in the past 200 years.
Due to the ongoing infestation, the country’s largely coniferous forests are facing extensive felling of trees, which could negatively impact many animal species, including hawks and white-tailed eagles.
Czechs are marking twenty years since the death of Jaroslav Foglar, youth movement activist and author of the legendary comics Rapid Arrows. Among the events remembering the famous writer is a performance of his novel Mystery of the Puzzle Box at Prague’s Minor theatre, which has been sold out for weeks. Meanwhile, the Scout Foundation of Jaroslav Foglar, which is in charge of his heritage, is releasing a special, limited edition of his autobiography.
A bark beetle infestation that has affected spruce forests throughout the
country – said to be the worst in the past 200 years – is likely to
double in 2019, acorrding to a forest management expert at the Ministry of
Due to the infestation, the Czech Republic’s largely coniferous forests are facing extensive felling of trees, which could negatively impact many animal species, including hawks and white-tailed eagles.
The ministry is calling for amending the Forestry Act and implementing a crisis plan.
Forests in the Czech Republic are suffering. Frequent periods of prolonged draught have weakened trees, leaving them prone to harmful bark beetle infestation. Moreover, severe storms in recent months and years damaged large areas of woodland and foresters have had to cut down many more trees than the sawmills are able to process. As a result, the price of wood has now fallen to a half of what it was a year ago. Vít Pohanka met foresters and experts from several European countries at a seminar they held in Czechia.
A bark beetle infestation that has affected spruce forests in the Vysočina
region is also threatening the protected natural area of Žďárské vrchy
in western Moravia.
Extensive felling of trees to combat the problem could negatively impact many animal species, including hawks and white-tailed eagles, conservationists say.
The Czech Republic’s largely coniferous forests are facing the worst bark beetle infestation in at least 200 years. The amount of spruce wood damaged by the insects has risen steadily in recent years.
Experts are warning that the nation’s forests could be wiped out if the current monoculture forestry format remains unchanged.