The international service of Czech Radio 
16-9-2019, 04:32 UTC
[27.03.2019 12:10 UTC] Brian Kenety
President Zeman approves new crisis measures to fight bark beetle infestation

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.