Restoration plans, that will draft specific restoration activities and areas, will be completed in the early stage of the project. These documents will follow State Forest Management Centre standards and must be approved by Environmental Board beforehand. Also the plan will be introduced for Agricultural Board and municipalities and if needed, appropriate approval from these organizations should be applied. Restoration plans should be in accordance with all other protection rules and management plans currently applied at the project sites. Currently ELF has received approval from Environmental Board to implement restoration in project areas based on information provided within the LIFE project application but there is definitely need for more exact plans.
Restoration plans include collection and analyses of topographic (ortophotos), botanical, geographical, historical and geology data from existing databases in order to plan restoration of the natural, pre-drainage habitats. Special attention will be served for closing of the drainage network as this is the primary cause of degradation of protected mire habitats.
Ohepalu, Tudusoo and Laukasoo project sites will be covered with additional field work in order to survey the condition of the drainage network and its influence on the mire habitats. Other project sites already have restoration plans or drainage system surveys and those documents are available in ELF. Additional site visits, that will confirm and elaborate current status, will be organised to those areas.
The type of closure (dams of various type, complete infilling, leveling etc) will be drafted out in restoration plans for different parts of the restoration sites based on above mentioned information.
Forestry data will be also collected during the formation of the restoration plans. Forest cover acts as a strong water pump for mire areas, is somewhat resilient to hydrology changes and it is therefore necessary to remove trees in some areas (formerly open mires) in order to enhance mire habitat recovery. Formerly open mire habitats will be opened totally, forest in wooded mires will be thinned if necessary. Clearcut area will be surrounded with gradually thinned buffer zones towards non-managed areas to ensure smooth, natural changes of landscape. Actions with forest cover will be co-ordinated with scientists from Tartu Un. to ensure maximum positive impact on mires and species related to open landscapes (dragonflies, butterflies, amphibians) and minimum impact on forest-dependant birds like capercaillie and ptarmigan.
In addition, archaeological values will be determined (Action A3) and if necessary, special conditions will be determined in the restoration plans.
Current restoration plans will be updated and new ones will include monitoring schemes and species specific recommendations by Tartu Un (Action A4). Evaluation of initial state of target species of the project will therefore form integral part of the restoration activities and is tied with overall project since the very beginning. Also special guidelines will be elaborated under activity D2.
Restoration plans compiled for restoration of hydrology will be compiled in all project sites in spring 2017. Additional changes could be made in the course of the project, based on results from arheological survey (A3) and evaluation of initial state of target species (A4), and monitoring actions.
By the end 2016, two restoration plans have been introduced publicly and approved by Environmental Board and State Forest Management Centre. These plans are for Soosaare and part of Sirtsi project area. Next step is compilation technical plans.