Northern MP Anne-Laure Cattelot stands up for the Mormal Forest in Avesnois. – G. Durand / 20 Minutes

  • Like local associations, a member (LREM) of the North is worried about the overexploitation of a forest of Avesnois.
  • MP Anne-Laure Cattelot denounces the management of the National Forestry Board.
  • The parliamentarian wishes to launch an information mission on the subject, in the National Assembly

Stolen green wood against the National Forestry Office (NFB). In a video posted on his profile Facebook, a member of the North implicates the management of the forest of Mormal, in the Avesnois, reproaching clear cuts a little too frequent and "untimely". There are several
Local associations such as Mormal Forêt Agir campaign for the safeguarding of this forest, believing that its exploitation is too intensive.

"When they come to cut, it seems to be next to a nuclear reactor and you end up with a desert landscape," complains a resident of Sars-Bara, a locality that adjoins the forest of 90 km2, the largest of the North. A new stage in the industrialization of public forests since Mormal belongs to the state?

The wood industry of the regional council

In front of the village, there are more than 7 hectares of forest (about fourteen football fields) that have just been cut in one piece. "Further, it is an even bigger plot that has been totally shaved," he laments.

A totally cut plot of wood in the Mormal Forest in the North.
A totally cut plot of wood in the Mormal Forest in the North. – Mormal Forest Act

Anne-Laure Cattelot, MP (LREM), decided to step up to denounce, in her turn, "the overexploitation of the natural resources of this forest". A fight that may run up against the policy of the regional council, which in recent years wants to set up a wood industry.

"I am not against the exploitation of wood, but in a reasoned way, and if possible, by companies of the region, explains Anne-Laure Cattelot. Some countries, such as Switzerland or Slovenia, have banned clear-cutting to preserve biodiversity. Others like Belgium and Germany have limited them. We could do the same. "

A "forest management" not respected

The member asks to regulate the cuts: "We could only take selected trees not to denature the forest, rather than destroy everything and waste the wood."

In the line of fire, it targets the NFB which is in charge of the management of this state forest. The timber cuts are thus programmed in a management document called "forest management". It sets the stock program over a period of 20 years. According to the member, the "forest management" of Mormal is planned from 2014 to 2033. "But in four years, we have already cut and released half of what is planned," she says.

Local associations denounce overexploitation of the forest of Mormal that they consider "in danger".
Local associations denounce overexploitation of the forest of Mormal that they consider "in danger". – G. Durand / 20 Minutes

Totally destroyed during the First World War and overexploited during the Second, the forest of Mormal today houses deer and is positioned as one of the main tourist attractions of a territory in economic difficulty.

An information mission to the National Assembly?

"I will hold the NFB accountable, especially the nature of contracts with logging companies," says the northern member, a bit rebellious also vis-à-vis the inertia of the department. It is also planning to launch an information mission on the subject in the National Assembly.

Contacted, the NFB was not reachable. This office, with 9,500 professionals, is, moreover, in the sights of the government which proposed, for 2019, the suppression of 226 positions.


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