The GNR has fined the Institute of Nature Conservation and Forests (ICNF) for not clearing up the National Forest of Leiria, the first time the new laws on forest maintenance have been used by the local force.
The local GNR commander noted, "eight situations of lack of forest management in the Leiria National Forest" all of which were reported last September on the SOS Ambiente online reporting system.
Following analysis of the reports and checks by troops in the forest last Autumn, eight counts of misconduct were logged.
The ICNF acknowledges it has been sent fines by the Leiria GNR, but only for four cases, "alleged violations of the National Forest Fire Protection System standards."
The amount issued in fines has not been revealed, because "the processes are being investigated," adds an embarrassed ICNF.
The initial complaint was made in March 2018, by an unidentified citizen, who reported the Marinha Grande municipality to the Police, the GNR and the Civil Protection Authority, for failing to maintain and clear areas of forest that were not wiped out by the 2017 arson attack which consumed 86% of the Leiria National Forest. HERE
The ICNF already is denying that its teams have failed to clear land for 25 metres at the side of public roads and that it failed to clear 100 metres of scrub and trees at the edge of villages and buildings.
The ICNF added that it had appointed contractors, as it does not have enough staff and machinery, hinting that if there is any blame, it is these subcontractors that have failed – adding that the weather has been bad, which it hasn’t.
I suspect that ICNF is right, in that they do not have the appropriate resources for the job in hand.