The Black Forest in Germany is a great example of using forest sustainably.
The area is beautiful – rolling hills and mountains, lakes, and of course, plenty of forests – but this was not always so. Although the mountains were rich in deciduous and fir trees, by the middle of the 19th century the whole area was almost completely deforested due to intensive forestry. Fortunately the trees were replanted and today there are plentiful forests once again. This is such an encouraging example of a near disastrous ecological situation which has been reversed. Change is possible!!
Older, taller trees growing alongside newer trees. As trees are cut, new ones are immediately planted.
Although originally deciduous and fir trees grew side by side, when the forests were re-planted, it was mostly with fir trees. However, now more deciduous trees are being planted. Here you can see a fir tree that has been harvested and a deciduous tree planted next to the stump. Trees are selected for harvesting leaving beautiful forest intact – this avoids ugly scars on the landscape when whole areas are cleared at once.
Alternative incomes from the forest are possible too – this signpost of a person walking is to indicate paths that have been cut through the forest. Many tourists come each year to walk in nature, to enjoy the clean air, to see the birds and butterflies, bringing with them an important source of income from the forests.
It is encouraging to see that it is possible to harvest wood sustainably and to derive alternative incomes from forests too.
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