In Upper Carinthia and East Tyrol, the pest is increasingly becoming a problem – and the forest is becoming a burden for many farmers. Because there is a lack of professionals and there are hardly any buyers for the damaged wood.
The farmers in the Lesachtal used to be very proud of their forests, but today many say they would rather have nothing to do with it,” says state forester Albin Oberluggauer, who has been responsible for the Lesachtal and Obere Gailtal for 35 years.
Countless spruces affected
Because since October 2018, when the Vaia storm swept over East Tyrol and Upper Carinthia at speeds of more than 200 km/h, causing millions of damage in the forests, and after several snowy winters with much damaged wood, the spruce trees have suffered to a plague of bark beetles.
Farmers who used to invest a lot of work, time and money in their forests to make them suitable for their grandchildren and who therefore managed them sustainably, can now hardly keep up with the enormous damage.
To combat the massive spread of bark beetles, the BH Hermagor recently issued its own regulation for the Lesachtal and Kötschach-Mauthen.
This obliges the owners to regularly look out for the creeping creatures, which are only a few millimeters in size, in their forests and remove affected trees immediately. If you do not do this, you risk hefty fines of up to 7270 euros.
But not only the Lesachtaler, but also the Mölltaler and Osttiroler have to deal with beetles.
I am Ida Scott, a journalist and content author with a passion for uncovering the truth. I have been writing professionally for Today Times Live since 2020 and specialize in political news. My career began when I was just 17; I had already developed a knack for research and an eye for detail which made me stand out from my peers.