Clear-cutting in a zone 3 protected area of Białowieża
Europe’s last large old-growth forest and home to the largest population of European bison, Białowieża is one of the most precious natural areas in the continent. Defying orders from Europe’s highest court, the Polish goverment continues to log large swaths of Europe’s last large old-growth forest. The government justifies their actions with false arguments ranging from bark-beetle control to public safety, and claims they only cut trees selectively. International media reports have focused largely on EU court decisions, and not painted a very clear picture of what was actually happening on the ground. Logging sites are closed off and media and protesters are kept at bay aggressively by a small army of armed forestry contractors and police. It wasn’t until I travelled there and was able to spend a few weeks on the ground that I realized the extent of the destruction. Aerials show a very different picture from that painted by the government: the clear-cutting of large swaths of forest using commercial harvest machines.
Camera info: DJI Mavic Pro drone, ISO 100, 1/160s