1. Study of existing timber resources, system and infrastructure of forest management
Legislative regulation of forest management system is now under deep reconstruction. The project of Forest Code of Russian Federation is being under discussion by interested parties for two years. It is planned to introduce it in 2006. Principal innovations of the Forest Code are to concentrate forest management functions on the federal level, to introduce a unified forest cadastre and timber resources’ users, to let acquire the rent right on timber resources exclusively by means of auction and, above all, to make it possible to acquire forest into private property on the expiry of long-term lease. The question of introduction of private property on timberlands is being narrowly discussed and it is even possible that it will be brought out of the Forest Code. Meanwhile, periodical alternations of laws currently in force add an unexpectedness factor into the work of timber enterprises. It is necessary to admit, that current system of forest management makes full provision for restoration of timber resources if obeyed.
Russian timber resources make a quarter of Earth general resources (82 milliard cubic meters). At the same time, over several latest years no more than 13% of potential yearly woodcutting areas are being felled. Structurally the most part of timber resources has natural origin and consists of mixed, overmature forests of low productivity. The most part of soil (approximately 66% for Republic of Komi) is of the 3rd – 4th categories (clay, turfy, marsh soils and floating earth with high humidity level). For wheeled equipment, used when transporting timber from the upper timber landings to the yards, these soils are practically impassable, so additional road construction is needed.
Transportation of production is a serious problem for loggers, because suitable for exploitation timber resources are located rather far from the existing roads. There is a shortage not only of timber-carrying roads, but also motor roads of general use. At the same time in most regions at the local level there is a lack of sufficient basis for road construction and maintenance. When transporting logs to consumers, one can count railroad problems. Low volumes of logging make work of part of railroads unprofitable and cause closure of branch lines and cuts off loggers from consumers. Besides, there is also a lack of rolling stock.
In most regions electric power, combustible-lubricating materials (CLM) supply and telecommunications system is quite satisfactory. In general, population is sufficiently supplied with foodstuffs, living essentials and first medical care. Meanwhile, public conveyances are rather outdated. (Appendix 1).