From the earliest times, the territory of Eastern Polissya in Ukraine was covered by virgin forests. On the map constructed by G. Boplan in the first half of the XVII century, the territory of the present Opillya zone in the Eastern Polissya territory was completely covered with forest vegetation. For a long time, the forests were assigned for use by charters of immunity. After the state confiscation of monasteries’ land, the forests became state-owned. The regular science-based forest management began after the establishment of the Little Russian Administration in 1798 (from 1802, Chernihiv administration). In 1848 there were 9 state forestry enterprises in the Chernihiv region. As of 1857, the total area of forests in the Chernihiv region was 1,271.5 thousand hectares, 291.6 thousand hectares of which were state forests.
Materials and Methods
The research materials were collected in the State Archives of the Chernihiv region. More than 50 units of archival collections have been used. The analysis of the forestry dynamics in the Chernihiv region at the end of the nineteenth century was carried out on the basis of statistical materials and other literary sources. The analysis of the organization of forestry enterprises in Chernihiv region from 1926 to 2012 has been carried out.
Results and conclusions
After the reform of 1861, the massive destruction of forests, wind-blown sand covering and the disturbance of forestlands began. As of 1914, the area of forests in the Chernihiv province had been reduced to 871 thousand hectares, and the forest land percentage, to 14.9 percent.Forest improvement works on a scientific basis was resumed in 1922 after the formation of the Pridesnansky Ravine Research Station. The contour-row organization of the territory was designed and agrochemical, meadow-improvement and forest-improvement activities were developed as well as erosion-preventing water-supply engineering. The abuse of forest resources in the first half of the twentieth century led to a decrease in forest areas and to the desertification of lands. In Eastern Polissya, studies on forest regeneration and conservation were conducted by a number of distinguished scientists such as G. M. Vysotsky, P. P. Pogrebnyak, Ye. A. Alekseev, V. V. Ogievsky, D. D. Lavrinenko, I. O. Alekseev, K. L. Kholupyak, F. L. Shchepotyev, I. M. Patlay, V. P. Tkach, V. L. Meshkova et al. Currently, forestry and ecological research in Eastern Polissya is carried out by scientists of the State enterprise “Novgorod-Siverska Forest Research Station” of URIFFM.The increasing timber harvesting in the forests of Eastern Polissya since the seventeenth century has adversely affected the species composition and the health of the forest stands and has reduced the area covered by forests. Establishing state forest management authorities ensured the sustainable use of forest resources, the development of forest science in the region and generally in the state. The sustainable forest management should be carried out on a scientific basis of integrated use, expanded reproduction, and quality protection of forests.