The first project monitoring meeting took place in Slovakia on 28 and 29 June. The meeting was hosted by WWF Slovakia and Forests of the Slovak Republic (LESY). In Slovakia, forest management activities take place in two project sites in sand dune pine forests and in spruce monocultures in Šaštín and Smolenice.
Small-scale shelter wood cutting and selective cutting in pine forests on sand dunes instead of clearcutting will be tested on 48 hectares. In addition, pre-commercial thinnings will take place in pine sand dune forests on the area of 450 hectares and cleanings on the area of 240 hectares to increase resilience of forest stands and support natural regeneration will be implemented. Gradual reconstruction of spruce monocultures into more stable and diverse forests will be implemented on a total area of 55 hectares.
Water retentions measures will be implemented at both sites: in Šaštín former drainage ditches are planned to be disfunctioned in more than 10 kms by building small dams or filling them partially with soil/stone to stop their drainage effect. In addition, 3 small ponds will be reconstructed. This will enable retention of water for the dry periods in 140 hectares as well as provide water for fighting forest fires. In Smolenice small water facilities / dams will be implemented also on one site is expected to provide positive effect on the local micro-climate for at least 7 hectares of forest.