To research attitudes to urban and suburban forests, a questionnaire was given to the random sample of 500 Warsaw residents. The most important factors identified by respondents included unlimited accessibility of urban forests as well as their proximity to urban areas.
The main forest recreational activities expected by Warsaw residents were longer walks, natural silence and calm, also the absence of litter. A few respondents were receptive to the idea of managed forests as well as natural forests, if improving the quality of recreation is not taken into account.
Respondents were willing to be taxed at 52 PLN/person/year in order to receive the desired level of nontimber forest functions in urban forests. Like residents of other regions of Poland, the respondents specified that the protection of air quality and protection of the natural environment are the most important non-timber forest functions. Among the most frequently visited forests located within the borders of Warsaw city are forests close to Choszczówka, Bielański forest and the forest in Koło, which receive respectively 251, 204 and 162 visitors/ ha/day. The management of recreational resources in urban forests is expected to be diverse and adapted to the preferences of visitors.
The results of a survey conducted in several Promotional Forest Complexes (PFC) in the Śląskie and Podlaskie regions, as well as the urban forests in Łodź and Warsaw, indicate that visitor preferences vary among forest sites. Those forests where visitors prefer to rest should be located in forests designated for recreation, and include elements of recreational infrastructure. Depending on characteristics of the forest in question (seaside, lakeside, or mountains), respondents preferred forest located near to the water’s edge, whereas in mountainous areas they selected open places (roads and openings). Urban residents more commonly chose sites deep within the forest, while hikers selected forest edges. The desired recreational infrastructure, included garbage cans and hiking trails as the most important elements among city dwellers, while hikers pointed to rest areas and information boards. The respondents consistently agreed on the type of recreational activities conducted in forests as well as on type of elements which determine the attractiveness of forests for rest and recreation. Independently of site characteristics and the research location, the most common activities for respondents were hiking and riding bicycle; and attractive elements were silence and calm as well as cleanliness of the forests. The Contingent Valuation Method (CVM) was used to evaluate respondents’ Willingness to Pay (WTP) for intensification of selected public forest functions and forest management, including recreational functions. The number of respondents who declared a hypothetical monetary amount or WTP>0 depended on the place where research was conducted (forest or respondent’s home); forest area covered by financing (forests in general or local forests where respondents reside); the type of question used to obtain the information on WTP; as well as the scope of financing (all public forest functions or just a recreational function). The average WTP declared per household per year varied from 41 PLN (Gołos, Janeczko 2002) to 150 PLN (Gołos, Kaliszewski 2006) for selected forest areas. The average overall state statistics for WTP was 52 PLN (non-timber forest functions in municipality) and 41 PLN (recreational management of forests in municipality). The respondents also underlined that the goods and services provided should be co-financed from both state and local budgets, and that such financing should go directly to the organizations conducting forest management
This article presents the most important aspects relevant to forest-derived biomass utilization for the purposes of energy production by professional energy providers. The issues discussed here are divided into four groups: environmental, social, economic and technological aspects of biomass utilization in energy production. The environmental part focuses on the effects of intensive use of leftovers from timber harvest on forest ecosystems as well as the problem of ash utilization. Economic and social problems include the costs of energy production from timber, consequences of intensified fuel wood demand for the state of the timber and paper industry as well as the impact on the labor market. The technology section of the article covers questions related to the harvest and transport of forest-derived biomass.
We conclude that, before regarding it as an energy source, wood should be mainly used for the production of timber due to the necessity and difficulty of considering all of the above-mentioned diverse aspects of energy production. Wood should be used for the production of energy only after its usage as timber products and their recycling.
The subject matters of this article are mutual relationships between nature conservation and forest management, considered from the axiological and legal point, as well as the economic and social conditions of forest management.
The paper presents the results of studies concerning the availability and possibilities of the use of wood for energy purposes in Europe and in Poland. It describes in detail the current use of wood for energy production purposes, as well as predictions on volume, composition, and sources of energy wood. It also presents the results concerning potential impact of energy wood harvesting on wood industries. The paper concludes that the question of utilization of forest biomass for large-scale energy generation is very complex and has far-reaching consequences for environment, society and economy. So as to be effective, wood resources management should give a priority to wood-based production of the greatest added value, and energy generation should be a closing-down stage in the wood value chain
Questionnaire surveys were conducted from July 1st • to August 15th, 2012 in forests near Gołdap, Białowieża, Pisz, Kraśnik, Warsaw and Zakopane with 335 respondents - 146 residents (43.6%) and 189 tourists (56.4%). The respondents declared that they visit forests throughout the year for various purposes, most often with family or friends and most frequently for the recreational activity of walking. They typically spend about three hours in the forest during a single visit. Respondents perceived the most important functions of the forest as a place where plants and animals live, as well as a place for recreation. In their view, the state budget should be a source of co-financing the recreational management of the forest. On1y a small number of respondents (27.5%) would be willing to allocate a portion of their income for recreational forest management. According to the respondents, the most important elements needed in the forest to improve its quality for tourism are information signs and litter bins. Respondents perceive the greatest threats to the forest from tourism to be vandalism, automobiles driving into the forest and wildlife disturbance, whereas the greatest threats to tourists were reported to be biting and stinging animals (snakes, ticks and mosquitoes) and the possibility of getting lost. Respondents indicated clean air, peace and quiet, as well as the ability to harvest wild fruits, plants and mushrooms as the greatest advantages of using the forest for recreation. A large proportion of respondents admitted that they would like to use the services of professional foresters, especially for nature walks and health related purposes, as well as to educate children and youth about nature and the forest.