Europe

Logging of beetle-infested trees begins in Polish forest

  • FILE - In this Aug, 2006 file photo, dead trees lie on the ground in the Bialowieza National Park, a protected part of the Bialowieza Forest in eastern Poland. A spokesman for Poland's Environment Ministry says Wednesday, May 25, 2016, logging has started in parts of the nation's oldest forest, a development that aims to eliminating dying trees to ensure safety for tourists. (AP Photo/Vanessa Gera, file)

    FILE - In this Aug, 2006 file photo, dead trees lie on the ground in the Bialowieza National Park, a protected part of the Bialowieza Forest in eastern Poland. A spokesman for Poland's Environment Ministry says Wednesday, May 25, 2016, logging has started in parts of the nation's oldest forest, a development that aims to eliminating dying trees to ensure safety for tourists. (AP Photo/Vanessa Gera, file)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this May, 2012 file photo, tree trunks lay in the Bialowieza National Park, a protected part of the Bialowieza Forest in eastern Poland. A spokesman for Poland's Environment Ministry says Wednesday, May 25, 2016, logging has started in parts of the nation's oldest forest, a development that aims to eliminating dying trees to ensure safety for tourists. (AP Photo/Rafal Kowalczyk, file)

    FILE - In this May, 2012 file photo, tree trunks lay in the Bialowieza National Park, a protected part of the Bialowieza Forest in eastern Poland. A spokesman for Poland's Environment Ministry says Wednesday, May 25, 2016, logging has started in parts of the nation's oldest forest, a development that aims to eliminating dying trees to ensure safety for tourists. (AP Photo/Rafal Kowalczyk, file)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this March 16, 2010 file photo bisons graze in the Bialowieza Forest, in eastern Poland. A spokesman for Poland's Environment Ministry says Wednesday, May 25, 2016, logging has started in parts of the nation's oldest forest, a development that aims to eliminating dying trees to ensure safety for tourists. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski, File)

    FILE - In this March 16, 2010 file photo bisons graze in the Bialowieza Forest, in eastern Poland. A spokesman for Poland's Environment Ministry says Wednesday, May 25, 2016, logging has started in parts of the nation's oldest forest, a development that aims to eliminating dying trees to ensure safety for tourists. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski, File)  (The Associated Press)

A spokesman for Poland's Environment Ministry says logging has started in parts of the nation's oldest forest, a development that aims to eliminating dying trees to ensure safety for tourists.

The ministry plan to fell trees affected by bark beetle in the Bialowieza Forest, which includes Europe's last primeval woodland, has drawn the ire of environmental groups who argue that nature will take care of itself. The European Commission has also expressed concern over the logging plan.

But Environment Minister Jan Szyszko insists that beetle-affected, dying trees in the forest need to be removed to stop the infestation.

Ministry spokesman Jacek Krzeminski told The Associated Press on Wednesday that in younger parts of the woods, foresters have begun felling sick trees along tourist routes.