Forest definition; Land property; Forest management; Forest production
Prawne Problemy Górnictwa i Ochrony Środowiska, 2016, nr 1, s. 67-84
Forest is a concept difficult to define in legal language. In European Union Member States the concept refers to both, an area from 0.05 ha up to 2 ha as well as an area of tree crowns from 10% to 30%. Forest definition in Poland is significantly different from the forest definitione included in the European Union legislation. The Forest Act introduces four criteria of considering a given land a forest: environmental criterion, spatial criterion, criterion of the use for forest production and criterion of a relation with forest management. For the purpose of proper inter pretation of forest definition, the interpretation of the following criteria is of importance: the use of the land for the purposes of forest management and its use for forest production. It is necessary to amend the forest act in the scope of specifying the forest definition. The legislator should also solve the problem concerning the issue of types of forest crops, a type of forest stand that can be considered as forest. A new forest definition should include the issue of planting fast-growing trees, pines understood as a separate type of production forests and the issue of considering the land as forest area, when this land cannot be of use for forest management.