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Forest work in Austria

The forestry or forest management as part of the economy means the scheduled actions of economic man in the forest . The aim of these actions today is, in addition to the production of raw materials, especially wood , to provide immaterial services such as the preservation of forests, especially as a protection and recreation area.

The goals of forestry can vary greatly from region to region and over time. In Central Europe , after centuries of overexploitation, the sustainable form of wood use prevailed from around the 19th century , which has increasingly taken social needs into account since the second half of the 20th century.

A company active in forestry is called a forest enterprise .

Forestry tasks

In Germany, according to the federal and state forest laws , forest owners are obliged to manage their forests “properly and sustainably” (Section 11 of the Federal Forest Act). Here, it is important that the functions of the forest not only as a raw material source, but also as a basis for the species , soil , climate and water conservation are as well as for leisure and recreation of the population considered. In addition, today's forestry requires constant weighing between economic and ecological interests in order to be able to take into account the different demands on the forest. The forest ecosystem also includes game , the stocks of which are regulated by foresters through hunting and tending in order to prevent game damage.

Consideration of sustainability

After the catastrophic destruction of forests in Central Europe in the Middle Ages due to overexploitation of the forests, the principle of forest sustainability developed: “Do not take more wood from the forest than is growing back at the same time” (see also: History of the forest in Central Europe ). Subsequent generations should be given at least comparable, if not better, possible uses. The sustainability of management was extended to ecological and later social sustainability as early as the 19th century . Since the mid-1990s, this has resulted in certifications such as the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or the Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes (PEFC).

In the course of Europe-wide processes, “sustainable forest management” was defined as

“The treatment and use of forests in a way and to an extent that their biodiversity, productivity, regeneration capacity, vitality and their ability to perform the relevant ecological, economic and social functions now and in the future at local, national and global level without damaging other ecosystems. ”This definition, which is recognized in Europe , expresses the many functions of the forest and the pursuit of sustainable development of nature and the economy. The silvicultural activity includes goal-oriented planning, decision-making and implementation in the area of ​​renewal, maintenance and restoration of forest ecosystems while simultaneously considering ecological, socio-economic and technical knowledge. Forestry can ensure the sustainable treatment and use of forests.

Nonetheless, every timber industry use remains an intervention that permanently removes biomass from the forest that would naturally remain in the forest to form soil.


Forestry in Germany distinguishes three types of forest ownership:

Treuhandwald: Forest expropriated and made public property in the course of the land reform in the GDR was handed over to the Treuhandanstalt . The aim is to privatize this forest. This is done by the federally owned Bodenverwertungs- und -verwaltungs GmbH (BVVG).

In order to secure the functions of the forest, it is important that functioning structures are created. This is the responsibility of the individual federal states with their own state forest laws. The federal legislation only provides the framework with the federal forest law.

In most countries, the state forest is divided into individual forest offices . These in turn consist of individual districts that have a size of 1,500 to 3,000 hectares. The management of the districts is carried out by the foresters (qualified forest engineer).

Forest distribution in Germany by country and type of ownership

country State forest (federal) State forest (land) Corporation


Private forest Trust


all types of property
Baden-Württemberg 7,302 321,678 541.031 492.219 0 1,362,229
Bavaria 56,545 769.886 345,686 1,386,344 0 2,558,461
Brandenburg / Berlin 73,088 328.245 73,840 449,988 146,572 1,071,733
Hesse 7,595 342,986 318,601 211,068 0 880.251
Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania 53,486 218.244 56,286 125,468 81,479 534.962
Lower Saxony / Hamburg / Bremen 54,884 343,926 85,706 678.006 0 1,162,522
North Rhine-Westphalia 30,276 126,679 135.841 594.754 0 887,550
Rhineland-Palatinate 20,413 203,338 390.146 221,660 0 835,558
Saarland 791 47,450 21,748 28,470 0 98,458
Saxony 30,116 191,069 57,839 171,723 60,831 511,578
Saxony-Anhalt 49,452 135.196 33.101 196.612 77,767 492.128
Schleswig-Holstein 5,973 50,373 24,290 81,831 0 162,466
Thuringia 19,419 197,592 76,074 185,580 39,238 517.903
Germany (all countries) 409.340 3,276,661 2,160,189 4,823,722 405,887 11,075,799

Forest areas in hectares (Source: National Forest Inventory)

Forest-wild conflict

Wise area for assessing the influence of wildlife on natural regeneration - note the lack of
regeneration outside the fence
Natural rejuvenation without a fence

High game densities of herbivores , especially ungulates , can browsing a target for ecological and economic point of natural regeneration of the forest impede or prevent. By giving preference to certain tree species, selective browsing can displace mixed tree species from the stand and thus reduce tree species diversity. Planted forest crops that are not protected by individual tree protection or fences are also affected. Peeling damage can endanger older forest stands that have already outgrown the browsing for decades and, in the event of damage, destabilize and economically devalue.

This so-called forest-game conflict - also referred to as forest- hunting or forest owner-hunter conflict to clarify the conflict of goals and the actors - is considered a significant problem by foresters, nature conservation associations and forest owners with a view to the intended conversion of forests to climate-stable mixed forests considered. Especially since the broadcast to Christmas Eve 1971 film remarks about the red deer of Horst Stern previously mainly themed in professional circles forest-game conflict has become the focus of public and politics and became one of the most prominent issues in the debate on forest, forestry and Hunt. In 1988, hunters who saw an unwillingness to seriously regulate game populations in the attitude represented by the traditional German Hunting Association (DJV) founded the Ökologische Jagdverein Bayern eV and later ecological hunting association (ÖJV), which through consistent and effective hunting reduces and wants to enable “near-natural forest management” across the board.

Particularly in large private forests and in state forest operations , which as owner-hunted owners have a free hand in hunting, regional successes have been achieved in reducing hoofed game and browsing damage, but in large parts of Germany the problem continues to exist in the 21st century. The German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) summarizes the essential results of an expert opinion commissioned jointly with the German Forestry Council (DFWR) and the Working Group on Natural Forest Management (ANW) and by the forest science chairs of the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen and the Technical University of Munich was created in a press release as follows:

“Excessive hoofed game populations lead to massive problems in large parts of German forests; the damage that has occurred is not only ecologically questionable, but also has a considerable economic and thus financial dimension. The facility and the necessary conversion into natural mixed forests are largely hindered by game browsing. "

- Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN)

Pest Control

In special climatic conditions - such as B. have prevailed during the drought and heat in Europe in 2018 - ideal conditions for the mass reproduction of forest pests can arise. In the commercial forests z. B. Pesticides such as cyhalothrin , cypermethrin and tebufenozid are used to combat them. To protect the timber harvest before the bark beetle and other insects often the lying in the woods are Polter with insecticides such as chlorpyrifos sprayed.

Forest work in the Harz Mountains
Extraction of cut twigs on the Goldnen Steinrück , Vogelsberg

Economic importance

In Central Europe, forestry offers work and income for many thousands of people, despite the downward trend for decades. More than 90% of the turnover of a forest enterprise is generated through the sale of the wood produced. However, other forest products are also used (mostly free of charge for private consumption). These non-wood products include mushrooms, berries, herbs, game meat, etc.

Forestry also provides services (the example mentioned of building forest roads, securing these roads) and goods which, however, normally do not have to be paid for by the beneficiaries because there is no legal basis for this or because the markets do not exist. These are in particular CO 2 storage and sequestration , tourism and local recreation, as well as (especially in the case of tropical rainforests) influencing the climate and genetic material. The provision of soil, air and water protection functions and the preservation of biodiversity are generally not remunerated.


Wood harvest volume in Germany

With 11.4 million hectares, the forest in Germany covers 32 percent of the total area of ​​the country. Around 90 billion young and old trees grow in German forests with a total of 3.7 billion cubic meters of wood . The German forests are managed by around 2 million forest owners .

According to the wood market report of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) , logging in Germany totaled 55.6 million cubic meters of harvest without bark in 2015 . Of this, 42.0 million cubic meters were harvested from softwood and 13.6 million harvested cubic meters from hardwood. In 2015, 44 percent of the nationwide logging was done in private forests, 20 percent in corporate forests and 36 percent in state forests.

In 2018, the share of agriculture, forestry and fishing in gross value added in Germany was 0.7%. Due to the methodology of statistical recording, however, the importance of the forestry and timber industry is underestimated according to some researchers. In so-called cluster studies, companies in the forestry and downstream timber industry as well as other manufacturing and processing industries such as the paper industry and the printing and publishing industry, some of which are dependent on wood as a raw material, but also suppliers or in wood and wood products Companies working in transport are grouped together as the “Forest and Wood Cluster”. According to this, around 1.1 million people are employed in the “Forest and Wood Cluster”, who in 2016 generated sales of around 182 billion euros. However, the majority of sales are generated in the increasingly digitized publishing and printing industry. Most of the employees also work in this branch.

Germany has the highest wood stocks in the EU, followed by Sweden. Subsequent cluster studies were also cautiously assessed.

There is fundamental disagreement about the actual annual logging in Germany, since in 2006 the forest scientist Udo Mantau from the Center for Wood Management at the University of Hamburg has used wood consumption in Germany as the basis for calculating logging. He calculated the felling for the year 2005 at around 74 million cubic meters, significantly higher than the figure officially announced by the Federal Statistical Office for the same year of 56 million cubic meters.

The assumption of an actually higher impact is justified by the fact that part of it is not officially recorded.


Forest management traditionally has a high priority in Austria. Although fluctuating logging volumes can be observed due to individual events, forestry is an important economic factor for many businesses and farmers.

Logging by ownership category in 2009 Impact 2009 Change from 2008 change

to 10-Ø

Small forest 8.90 million cubic meters −27.6% −3.6%
Large forest 5.87 million cubic meters −15.5% + 2.4%
ÖBf AG (Federal Forest) 1.96 million cubic meters −23.5% −6.2%

The demand for wood in Austria is already falling in the long term, for example, around 7 million cubic meters of saw logs were imported into Austria in 2004 and fell to 4 million cubic meters in 2013. In contrast, the forest area increased from 3.7 million hectares in 1965 up to 4 million hectares in 2007. The wood supply is at a record level in Austria with over 1100 million cubic meters. The available potential lies in a range of up to 28.8 million harvested solid cubic meters and is far from being used to date.

Professional field

Representatives of the most diverse professional groups can be found in modern forestry operations. In addition to many administrative jobs, one can differentiate between the following classic forest training courses with the corresponding job profiles:


University studies

Foresters with a university degree have the opportunity to work as forest scientists or to enter the higher forest service after a two-year traineeship . Here, they usually take on leading positions in the forest offices or in administration.

In Germany, forest science studies are offered at four universities:

The new possibilities of Bachelor and Master degrees are blurring the boundaries between university and technical college studies.

In Austria, forestry is taught at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (Boku) in Vienna 18. After two years of professional practice and after passing the state examination for higher forest service, one is entitled to use the professional title of forest manager and to cultivate a forest area of ​​over 3600 hectares.

University degree

After completing a university of applied sciences degree and a subsequent one-year candidate period, the career test for the higher forest service can be taken. This choice of occupation usually leads to practical forestry services, whereby nowadays, in addition to managing a forest district, the occupational field often includes technical or administrative activities.

In Germany, the forestry degree program exists at the following universities of applied sciences :

Studied at a vocational high school

In Austria there is an upper level school, which one completes after 5 years with a matriculation and diploma examination. After two years of practice, a graduate can take a state examination for forest service and has thus obtained the right to manage a forest area of ​​1000 to 3600 hectares.

Until June 2005 there was a second HBLA for forestry in Gainfarn near Bad Vöslau .


Forest technician

The forest technician is a specialist in middle forest management.


The forest manager is a state-recognized training occupation in Germany and corresponds to the Austrian and Swiss forest warden . It is the modern term for the former profession of forest worker.

In Austria, forestry is a profession whose training includes university studies, a two-year internship and a state examination. Austrian forest managers are entitled to cultivate an area of ​​over 3600 ha and correspond roughly to German forest scientists in the higher service.

Forest warden

The forest warden apprenticeship is only available in Austria and Switzerland. The tasks of a forest warden are the same as those of the German forest man.

Forestry workers

The forestry worker apprenticeship only exists in Austria. A skilled forest worker has similar tasks to a German forest manager. Anyone who passes a master's examination after three years of practice is a master forestry manager.

Professional representations

The interests of forest workers are represented by the following organizations:

  • Industrial union building-agro-environment
  • Association of German Foresters in the dbb , but not all foresters are civil servants or employees of the public service
  • Association of Forest Technicians eV, Lohr am Main
  • Forestry entrepreneurs who carry out the timber harvest, logging work, transport and, in some cases, the timber marketing, are organized in the Verband der Agrargewerblichen Wirtschaft e. V. (VdAW), Stuttgart

Forestry organizations in Germany

Forestry worldwide

South asia

The rulers of Sindh , Assam and Maratha granted privileges as early as the 18th century and issued regulations for the management of forests, through which a permanent supply of wood and forest products should be ensured. State access to forests repeatedly resulted in fierce resistance from the local population. At the end of the century, the rulers of the Gorkha also passed laws on forest management, which preceded extensive reforestation on the slopes of the Himalayas . The territorial annexations in the course of the expansion of British colonial rule had a destructive effect on the local forestry from the second half of the century; no attention was paid to the management of the land.

The continental barrier imposed by Napoleon in 1805 , which resulted in an acute shortage of wood in British warship construction, prompted the British government to develop Bombay as a port and shipyard. In a first draft of British-Indian forest legislation, the expert commissioned to do so, Franz Wrede, oriented himself strongly to the forest management in German-speaking countries at the time. From 1823, however, logging was organized privately, which had catastrophic consequences for the teak forests of the Malabar coast . In order to prevent uncontrolled logging again and to be able to supply the rapidly growing railway network with firewood and construction wood, the Forest Department was finally founded in 1864 under the direction of Dietrich Brandis . As early as the next year, Brandis, in his role as Inspector General of Indian Forests, passed the first new legislation on forest use. In 1878 a more comprehensive forest law followed, which divided the forests into the three classes "reserved", "protected" and "village forests". In principle, the law primarily ensured the exclusive use of the forests by the colonial government. There can be no talk of sustainable forestry as we understand it today, the main focus of the colonial state was on the maximum exploitation of the forests. For this purpose, the (often unsuitable) principles of European forestry were transferred almost unchanged to the subcontinent; local knowledge of sustainable forest management was ignored, and access by the local population to the forest and its resources was prevented as far as possible. Attempts by Brandis to find a compromise between local customary law, legal rights and state legislation have been foiled by individual colonial officials. Further amendments to the state-wide forest law followed in 1893 and 1923, these primarily represented a tightening in the sense of industrial forestry. However, the case law remained by no means uniform, as the local governments of the Madras Presidency, the province of Burma and the province of Berar refused to do so To implement the law and enact their own forest legislation in 1882, 1881 and 1886 respectively. During the world wars, the exploitation of the South Asian forests increased again massively.

The consequences of the British way of dealing with South Asian forests were a systematic conversion of the primary forests into industrially usable forests, as well as a progressive disenfranchisement of the forest dwellers and forestry villagers. Due to the colonial state's chronic staff shortage, this process lasted until the first half of the 20th century. Even after independence, in the post-colonial Indian and Pakistani states, with reference to the case law from 1878, centralized industrial exploitation of forest areas continued. In 1998 the Indian central government passed the Joint Management Forestry Act, which explicitly includes the participation of the local population. This sometimes happened because the Indian state had reached the limits of feasibility in the centralized management of the forests. But even with this law, as before, neither economic security for local populations nor the achievement of an ecological equilibrium were brought to the fore, but rather an increase in private-sector profits and tax revenues.

See also


  • Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL, Ed.): The Forest in Germany - Selected Results of the Third National Forest Inventory , Berlin 2014. Online version (PDF; 5 MB)
  • Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL, ed.): Holzmarktbericht 2014 , Berlin 2015. Online version (PDF; 0.6 MB)
  • Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL, ed.): Wood Market Report 2014 - Annex Total Felling , Berlin 2015. Online version (PDF; 0.1 MB)
  • Reinhold Erlbeck, Ilse Haseder and Gerhard Stinglwagner : The Cosmos Forest and Forest Lexicon . 4th edition. Franckh-Kosmos, Stuttgart 2009, ISBN 978-3-440-12160-3 .
  • Johannes Fischbach-Einhoff, Ulrich Schraml and Andreas Katthagen: German Forestry Council 1950–2000. 50 years for forests, forestry and the environment . Landwirtschaftsverlag, Münster 2000, ISBN 3-00-006273-4 .

To historical forestry

  • Wolfgang Wüst: Law and order prevail in the forest. On the benevolence of late medieval and early modern forestry. In: Reports of the Historisches Verein Bamberg 151, 2015, ISBN 978-3-87735-215-1 , pp. 171-184.

To international forestry

Web links

Commons : Forestry  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Forestry  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  3. European Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe (MCPFE) in Helsinki Resolution H1 ( Memento of March 8, 2005 in the Internet Archive ), “General guidelines for the sustainable management of Europe's forests”, 1993
  4. ^ Wilhelm Bode (ed.): Natural forest management. Process protection or biological sustainability? Holm, 1997, ISBN 3-930720-31-0 .
  5. ↑ National Forest Inventory
  6. Christian Ammer, Torsten Vor, Thomas Knoke, Stefan Wagner: The forest-wild conflict - analysis and solution approaches against the background of legal, ecological and economic contexts (=  Göttinger Forstwissenschaften . Volume 5 ). Universitätsverlag Göttingen, Göttingen 2010, ISBN 978-3-941875-84-5 , p. 48, 63 , doi : 10.17875 / gup2010-280 ( [PDF; accessed on January 20, 2019]).
  7. RMA Gill: A Review of Damage by Mammals in North Temperate Forests: 3. Impact on Trees and Forests . In: Forestry: An International Journal of Forest Research . tape 65 , no. 4 , 1992, pp. 363-388 , doi : 10.1093 / forestry / 65.4.363-a .
  8. ^ Steeve D. Côté, Thomas P. Rooney, Jean-Pierre Tremblay, Christian Dussault, Donald M. Waller: Ecological Impacts of Deer Overabundance . In: Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics . tape 35 , 2004, pp. 113-147 , doi : 10.1146 / annurev.ecolsys.35.021103.105725 .
  9. a b Christian Ammer, Torsten Vor, Thomas Knoke, Stefan Wagner: The forest-wild conflict - analysis and solution approaches against the background of legal, ecological and economic contexts (=  Göttinger Forstwissenschaften . Volume 5 ). Universitätsverlag Göttingen, Göttingen 2010, ISBN 978-3-941875-84-5 , p. 41 , doi : 10.17875 / gup2010-280 ( [PDF; accessed on January 20, 2019]).
  10. Christian Ammer, Torsten Vor, Thomas Knoke, Stefan Wagner: The forest-wild conflict - analysis and solution approaches against the background of legal, ecological and economic contexts (=  Göttinger Forstwissenschaften . Volume 5 ). Universitätsverlag Göttingen, Göttingen 2010, ISBN 978-3-941875-84-5 , p. 48 f., 139, 180 f ., doi : 10.17875 / gup2010-280 ( [PDF; accessed on January 20, 2019]).
  11. Christian Ammer, Torsten Vor, Thomas Knoke, Stefan Wagner: The forest-wild conflict - analysis and solution approaches against the background of legal, ecological and economic contexts (=  Göttinger Forstwissenschaften . Volume 5 ). Universitätsverlag Göttingen, Göttingen 2010, ISBN 978-3-941875-84-5 , p. 2, 5, 41, 73 f ., doi : 10.17875 / gup2010-280 ( [PDF; accessed on January 20, 2019]).
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  14. Ludwig Fischer (Ed.): Unfinished Insights - The Journalist and Writer Horst Stern (=  contributions to media aesthetics and media history . No. 4 ). Lit Verlag, Hamburg 1997, ISBN 3-8258-3397-6 , pp. 115 ff., 267 ff . ( limited preview in Google Book Search [accessed January 20, 2019]).
  15. Ammer (2010), The forest-wild conflict. P. 15
  16. Claus-Peter Lieckfeld: Tatort forest: from someone who set out to save the forest . Westend Verlag, Frankfurt / Main 2006, ISBN 978-3-938060-11-7 , pp. 129 f . ( [accessed on January 15, 2019]).
  17. Claus-Peter Lieckfeld: Tatort forest: from someone who set out to save the forest . 1st edition. Westend, Frankfurt / Main 2006, ISBN 978-3-938060-11-7 , pp. 89, 151 ( [accessed January 15, 2019]).
  18. Importance of the Hunt. In: Bavarian State Ministry for Food, Agriculture and Forests. Archived from the original ; accessed on January 20, 2019 .
  19. Frank Christian Today: The great Reibach or: "Like the grasshoppers" . In: Eco Hunting . No. 2 , 2018, p. 30 .
  20. Frank Christian Today: Why consistent roe deer hunting is sustainable . In: AFZ-DerWald . No. 21 . Deutscher Landwirtschaftsverlag, 2016, ISSN  1430-2713 , p. 53 .
  21. Norbert Bartsch, Ernst Röhrig: Forest ecology: Introduction for Central Europe . 1st edition. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg 2016, ISBN 978-3-662-44268-5 , pp. 177 , doi : 10.1007 / 978-3-662-44268-5 ( [accessed on January 27, 2019]).
  22. Norbert Bartsch, Ernst Röhrig: Forest ecology: Introduction for Central Europe . 1st edition. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg 2016, ISBN 978-3-662-44268-5 , pp. 174 , doi : 10.1007 / 978-3-662-44268-5 ( [accessed on January 27, 2019]).
  23. a b BfN, DFWR and ANW present expert reports on the forest-game conflict. In: Federal Agency for Nature Conservation. May 5, 2010, archived from the original on January 10, 2019 ; accessed on January 10, 2019 .
  24. Agriculture and forestry were the first to be affected by climate change. In: May 10, 2019, accessed May 10, 2019 .
  25. Jens Blankennagel: Controversial insecticide use in Brandenburg: From Monday, "Liquid Karate" will fall from the sky. In: . May 3, 2019, accessed May 6, 2019 .
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  27. Hannes Weber: Much more poison is sprayed in the Zurich forest. In: . May 10, 2019, accessed May 10, 2019 .
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  31. ^ The forest owners (AGDW) . Retrieved August 17, 2016.
  32. ↑ Timber Market Report 2015 - Annex . Retrieved August 9, 2016.
  33. Federal Statistical Office / Statista: Share of economic sectors in gross value added in Germany. 2018, accessed September 8, 2019 .
  34. ^ Daniel Wetzel: Auf dem Holzweg ,, November 11, 2004. Retrieved May 19, 2010.
  35. a b Tühnen Institute: Forest and Wood Cluster: Sales, gross value added, number of companies and employees for 2016. 2016, accessed on September 8, 2019 .
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