Tree felling be­gins on Sierra Oltá

Costa Blanca News (North Edition) - - NEWS - By Jo Pugh

THE FOR­EST on the Sierra Oltá moun­tain will be re­duced in tree mass, after work started this week to both re­duce fire risk and to sta­bilise more ma­ture spec­i­mens.

Funded by Ali­cante provin­cial coun­cil at a cost of €40,000, nine parcels of land un­der pub­lic own­er­ship will be con­cen­trated on. These plots, which lie close to each other, con­tain a high den­sity of Aleppo pine, which grow quickly and dom­i­nate other trees. The work area cov­ers a to­tal area of 8.15 hectares and has a dead­line of three months. The state of the trees on the Olta trans­late into a land­scape well be­low its po­ten­tial, due to the trees that dom­i­nate the moun­tain along with an in­suf­fi­cient plant mix­ture. In this sit­u­a­tion the for­est be­comes very vul­ner­a­ble to pests, droughts and fires.

The af­fected plots are close to, or part of, the ur­ban-for­est in­ter­face area, so the risk of fires has a greater po­ten­tial im­pact. For these rea­sons, it was de­cided to ap­ply forestry thin­ning tac­tics with works con­sist­ing of de­tect­ing and strength­en­ing the dom­i­nant spec­i­mens and clear­ing around them.

The works are based on a re­quest from the de­part­ment of the en­vi­ron­ment, who ac­cepted a sub­sidy pro­gramme from Ali­cante coun­cil and iden­ti­fied the most im­por­tant needs in the area.

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