Wilhelm Bode (forester)

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Wilhelm Bode (* 1947 in Westphalia ) is a German forest scientist and conservationist . From 1987 to 1993 he headed the Saarland State Forest Administration in the position of a leading ministerial councilor .


Wilhelm Bode says he comes from an old family of hunters and has been involved in hunting since he was a child. He studied law and forest science and successfully completed both courses as a lawyer and forestry graduate : in 1972 he passed his first state examination in law at the University of Bonn , and in 1976 he obtained his diploma in forestry for the temperate zones with additional qualifications for tropical forestry at the university Goettingen .

In 1978 Bode took on a teaching position at the in-house forestry college of the State of Hesse in Schotten , which he held until 1985. From 1987 to 1993 he headed the Saarland state forest administration as head of the forest, hunting and timber industry in the Saarland Ministry of Economics . Afterwards he was first the state commissioner for climate protection and ecological economic policy and finally head of the department “Man and Nature” in the Saarland Ministry of the Environment.

Originally, Bode was a member of the SPD , but then joined Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen , whose deputy state spokesman and environmental and economic policy spokesman in Saarland he became at the end of 1993 (until 1997). He was also the second founding chairman and later the first chairman (until 2011) of the ecological hunting association (ÖJV) Saarland.

In the affair surrounding the statements made by the Saarland State Secretary for the Environment, Klaus Borger (“clearing the forest is mass murder”), he defended him and the Slovenian forest scientist Dusan Mlinsek . Mlinsek had compared the driver of a forest machine to a bomber pilot. In a letter to the editor to the taz, Bode pointed out his services to natural forest management in Slovenia and Europe.

As a book author

Wilhelm Bode is particularly known for his books, including an annotated reprint of the forest classic by Alfred Möller The permanent forest thought - its sense and its meaning (1992), Waldwende. From the forest forest to the natural forest (1994, 4 editions), which he wrote together with Martin von Hohnhorst , Jagdwende. From noble hobby to ecological handicraft , (1998, 3 editions), near-natural forest management. Process protection or biological sustainability (1997), as well as protection of biological diversity and integrated management of the Caspian forests (Iran) (2005). In the turn of the hunting season , he called for a move away from hunting as a noble hobby (in the tradition of formerly feudal hunting methods) and a professionalization of hunting as a commercial craft (~ hunting for a "reasonable purpose", i.e. for a reasonable reason). The association of the BJagdG with the Reichsjagdgesetz of 1934, which Bode (and co-author Emmert) discovered in it for the first time, was perceived by representatives of conventional hunting, in particular the German Hunting Protection Association , as irrelevant and polemical. Since the 1970s, Bode has written a total of around 120 specialist publications on hunting, forestry, nature conservation and agricultural policy. In 1994, "Der Spiegel" dedicated its cover story to a forest book for the first time, namely Bode's book Waldwende, thus helping natural forest management in Germany to achieve a breakthrough in forest policy.

As a conservationist

Bode was also known as the agricultural and forest policy spokesman for the German Nature Conservation Union (NABU) at the federal level (1993-2001). In his function as spokesman for the NABU working group on land use and the federal working group for forest + game of the NABU, he decisively determined the forest, hunting and agricultural policy positioning of the NABU in the 1990s (NABU forest program, action lively forest, NABU forest community, large forest protection areas , agricultural policy program, etc.). Together with Christoph Heinrich, Bode initiated the NABU strategy for large forest protection areas and thus, at the end of the 1990s, the first German large forest protection area in the Saarkohlenwald, the so-called "primeval forest at the gates of the city" (approx. 1000 ha, meanwhile under nature protection). In 1993, as the NABU forest spokesman, he designed and initiated the German negative award , which is still the leading negative award for environmentally backward-looking achievements, the so-called NABU dinosaur of the year , which has since been given annually between the years by the NABU Federal Association to prominent personalities from business and politics is awarded. At the suggestion of NABU Saarland, the first winner of the negative prize was his Minister Reinhold Kopp . In the context of the NABU forest concept (1996) drafted by him (together with Christoph Heinrich), the NABU demanded against the resolute resistance of BUND and Greenpeace in particular forest management based on the permanent mixed forest principle and about 5% of all forests to be taken out of use - in contrast to the so-called process protection concept of BUND and Greenpeace with 10% unused forest area. This association-political demand of the NABU has meanwhile been included in the official biodiversity strategy of the federal government. Bode's 2004 draft for an amendment to the Saarland Nature Conservation Act (which came into force on April 5, 2006 (SNG)) also largely goes back to its innovative content (the first anchoring of a state advisory council for landscape in § 42 SNG and a (state) sustainability council in 44 SNG, as well as a biosphere reserve on the basis of a municipal purpose association in § 10 para. 5 SNG). In 2001, as head of the Supreme Animal Welfare Authority, he installed the first German state foundation for animal welfare, the so-called Saar Animal Welfare Foundation. Through his mediation with the then Green State Secretary Berninger (BML), the Saarland CDU government approved the early and final ban on the keeping of laying hen cages in 2001 and thus gave the Red-Green Federal Government and its Minister Künast a decisive environmental majority victory against a CDU with the votes of the Saarland -Majority in the Federal Council. The Parrotia project initiated by him in cooperation with the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation in 2001 to protect the Caspian forests in Northern Iran and to designate it as a UNESCO World Heritage Site has meanwhile resulted in clear felling in Iran being completely stopped and representative parts of the Caspian forests entirely removed Have been used. In the meantime, Iran is preparing an application to designate the Caspian Forests as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Activities in forestry

Wilhelm Bode developed the concept of near-natural forest management for the Saarland and, for the first time in a federal state, implemented the conversion of the age-category forest into a permanent forest free from clear-cutting on public forest areas (state and municipal forests) . The concept, which received much attention in Germany and is still unique in its completeness, is based on:

  1. consistent renunciation of clear-cutting,
  2. gentle operating techniques (man and horse, ban on driving on forest floors, for the first time in Germany),
  3. Natural regeneration priority (with native hardwood),
  4. Chemical freedom (nationwide waiver of biocides and other chemical agents, for the first time in Germany),
  5. Deadwood strategy in managed forests (for the first time in Germany), as well as
  6. Concept for active forest conservation in the course of forest management .

A number of these strategies later prevailed in the public forests of Germany. Bode also tried to reform the hunting system in Saarland significantly. Together with the then vice hunter master of the Saarland, Paul Müller , he succeeded in developing a draft reform law for a Saarland hunting law that has not yet been achieved and to obtain unanimous acceptance of the state hunting association . Nevertheless, this draft law was no longer introduced into the state parliament by his minister Reinhold Kopp , because at the same time he shut down Bode in connection with the Lafontaine affair (see below). Nevertheless, the approach of hunting, which Bode coined in this draft, has only prevailed "for a reasonable purpose" in the discussion of hunting policy to this day and is gradually finding its way into legal language. Bode became particularly well-known in specialist circles for his commitment to gentle operating techniques (horse and motor-manual manual work in the forest) and for new ways of protecting nature (deadwood strategy). His approach "Nature Conservation through Use" formulated for the first time in 1987 as part of the model project "Waldbiotope Steinbachtal" has stimulated the German forest and nature conservation discussion and has a lasting impact on the concept. In Spiegel Spezial No. 2/1995 on the LCA '95 on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the European Year of Conservation in 1970, Der Spiegel portrayed him as one of the 30 green pioneers who have had a significant impact on environmental policy developments in Germany since 1970.

The founding of “ Spohns Haus ”, the first ecological school camp in Gersheim in Saarland in 2001, as well as the first concrete initiatives for the establishment of the Bliesgau biosphere region , also goes back to Bode's initiative . In 2004, Bode, as the representative of Saarland in the Federal / State Working Group on Nature Conservation (LANA), applied to propose the German beech forests as part of a European beech forest heritage as a World Heritage Site. This application has since been examined by the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation and submitted to UNESCO in Paris in December 2009 as an official German government proposal for a decision. The proposal was accepted on June 25, 2011 by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee as the German contribution to a European beech forest natural heritage .

In December 2011, Bode succeeded in establishing the first German permanent forest foundation on behalf of a forest owner in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania .

The Bürgerwald concept

On behalf of the North Rhine-Westphalian Nature Conservation Union (NABU), Bode developed the concept of a Bürgerwald AG in an expert report . The plan presented in May 2010 envisages privatizing the state forest of North Rhine-Westphalia for the public benefit, in which the citizens should buy shares in the form of shares and thus invest in the forest. A total of 80 percent of the forest shares are to be traded on the stock exchange. According to the Nabu report, this type of privatization of the approximately 120,000 hectare state forest can achieve at least one billion euros. In addition, the country would then no longer have to bear the very high deficits of the civil servant state forestry - around 500 positions would be eliminated from the public service in one step. The jobs were retained - according to Bode - but no longer burdened the public budget. As Bürgerwald organized corporation to guarantee the conservation of a 20% blocking minority that forests exclusively in permanent mixed forest model are managed. In addition, 20% of the state forests are to be withdrawn from use as large forest protection areas.

Political "affairs"

"Affaire Lafontaine"

As part of his official activities, Bode refused in 1991 to sell the forester's house Neuhaus (former Phillipsbrunn hunting lodge) to the then Saarland Prime Minister Oskar Lafontaine , who probably wanted to buy it privately. As the press commented, the then Environment Minister Reinhold Kopp Bode then had a newly created staff position (“Climate Protection Officer”) transferred in 1992, where he “had nothing to do”. Bode sued this "cold position", but lost in court. In November 1994, Bode was suspended for “compelling official reasons” (Ministry of the Environment) in connection with the ZDF reporting on the program Frontal about the background to his replacement, but his salary was still paid. At the same time, he was banned from entering the Ministry of the Environment from the Minister of Economic Affairs, Reinhold Kopp, who was leaving office at the same time and who was responsible for the measures taken against Bode . On the other hand, the official sued for official employment as a senior ministerial advisor and was right.

"Affair Mörsdorf"

Against this background, and after winning the parliamentary elections in 1999 by the CDU Wilhelm Bode was the new Environment Minister Stefan Mörsdorf was the previously long-time Chairman of the NABU Saarland, as head of the "Man and Nature" (high water, animal, nature conservation, fishing and environmental education). On November 10, 2004, however, he suspended Bode from duty because he is said to have violated the duty of loyalty and moderation in connection with the significant downsizing of his “Man and Nature” department . Bode brought an action against it. In the course of an out-of-court settlement in which Bode pledged to maintain secrecy about its content, he was reinstated by the Ministry of the Environment in August 2005 and released from his official work in the Saarland Ministry of the Environment as "project coordinator for the protection of the Caspian Forests in Iran " with full salary .


  • As editor: Alfred Möller: The permanent forest thought - its sense and its meaning , annotated reprint of the original from 1923 (Oberteuringen 1992)
  • together with Martin von Hohnhorst: Waldwende. From forest forest to natural forest , Munich 1994 (4th edition Munich 2000, ISBN 3-406-45984-6 )
  • together with Klaus Nagorni (Ev. Academy Bad Herrenalb) as editor: "Use the land - protect nature. From confrontation to cooperation" :, Karlsruhe, 1995. (Herrenalber Forum; 15) ( ISBN 3-87210-113-7 )
  • together with Christoph Heinrich: "The NABU forest concept" . Edited by NABU. Bonn-Beuel: (self-published), 1996.
  • Wilhelm Bode (Ed.): Natural forest management. Process protection or biological sustainability? , (Holm 1997, ISBN 3-930720-31-0 )
  • Wilhelm Bode and Elisabeth Emmert: Hunting turnaround. From noble hobby to ecological craft . (3rd, complete edition) Munich, 2000, ISBN 3-406-45993-5
  • Bode: Heritage protection yesterday - nature protection today! Nature tomorrow? - Guiding principles of nature conservation in the past and future . In Heimat, the rediscovery of a utopia. Saarbrücken: Ministry for the Environment, 2004. pp. 24–44.
  • Wilhelm Bode, Kazem Nosrati, Reza Marvie Mohadjer, and Hans D. Knapp (eds.): Protection of biological diversity and integrated management of the Caspian forests (Northern Iran) . [bilingual German / Farsi]. Bonn-Bad Godesberg: Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, 2005. 410 S. (Nature Conservation and Biological Diversity; 12) ISBN 3-7843-3912-3
  • Bode: Forest historical and forest policy reflections on the future of the beech as an economic tree species . In: European beech forest initiative. Edited by Hans D. Knapp and Almut Spangenberg. Bonn-Bad Godesberg, 2007, pp. 133–153 (BfN scripts; 222)
  • Bode: And every year again: Save our beech forests! In: Natur und Landschaft, Vol. 82 (2007, No. 9/10), pp. 431–435.
  • Bode: The citizen forest idea - or: What will happen to our state forest ? In: Arnd Heling (Ed.): The Baltic Sea Region and its Forests - Sustainability in the Sign of Climate Change. Proceedings of the Ratzeburg Summer University 2009. Munich: Oekom, 2010, pp. 144–177.
  • Bode: The NRW community forest concept. Expert opinion on behalf of the NABU-Bundesverband and NABU Nordrheinwestfalen. Düsseldorf 2010. Click here (PDF; 15.8 MB)
  • Bode: "Biosphere and Syntropy: What has Forestry to Do with?" In: Hangladorum, S. (Ed.): Food Security and Food Safety for the Twenty-First Century. Singapore: Springer 2015 pp. 277–287
  • Bode: "The recognized principles of German pasture justice according to Section 1, Paragraph 3 BJagdG - a Trojan horse of the national legal renewal" In: Yearbook for Agricultural Law, Volume XIII, Baden-Baden: Baden-Baden 2016, pp. 33–121.
  • Bode: "Consistency - on the criticism of forest sustainability" In: Naturwissenschaftliche Rundschau, 70th year 9/2017. Pp. 446-453.
  • Wilhelm Bode: Hirsche - A portrait. Berlin 2018 by Mathes & Seitz ( ISBN 978-3-95757-672-9 )
  • Bode: "Systemic Forest Management - On the Paradigm Shift in Forest Science" In: Nature Conservation and Landscape Planning, 51st year 5/2019. Pp. 226-234.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Comment of December 27, 2009 on Klaus-Peter Klingelschmitt: Green State Secretary in Distress: Deforestation equals mass murder . In: the daily newspaper . December 20, 2009
  2. Is hunting still up-to-date? Part III ( Memento of the original from April 4, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / Selbstversorger-blog.over-blog.de
  3. The eco-forest. Prescription against forest dieback, Spiegel No. 48/1994
  4. Use land - protect nature. From confrontation to cooperation. Bad Herrenalber Forum No. 14, Karlsruhe 1995.
  5. NABU position Large-scale forest protection areas - primeval forests of tomorrow. Bonn-Beuel 1996.
  6. cf. Frank Thewes: A head like hardwood and coal . In: the daily newspaper, December 29, 1993, p. 6
  7. The NABU forest concept; Bonn-Beuel 1996.
  8. National Strategy on Biodiversity , adopted by the Federal Cabinet on November 7, 2007
  9. cf. Saarl. Official Journal p. 726
  10. https://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/legregg/ accessed on February 1, 2015
  11. Archived copy ( memento of the original from February 23, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. accessed on February 1, 2015 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.tierschutzbund.de
  12. Protection of Biodiversity and Integrated Management of the Caspian Forests (Northern Iran) ; Bonn -Bad Godesberg 2005
  13. ↑ in summary: Minister for Economic Affairs, Silviculture Framework Directive for the Management of Public Forests in Saarland, Basic Decree, Saarbrücken 1992, OCLC 46184892
  14. Hunting law history is being written in Saarland - the draft brings noteworthy new regulations. Die Pirsch 23/92, pp. 8-12
  15. Steinbachtal forest biotopes - nature conservation through use; Saarbrücken 1987.
  16. ^ CH Beck-Verlag
  17. Nature and Landscape Issue 5 2008; as well as minutes of the 87th LANA meeting on 4th / 5th March 2004.
  18. Rafaela von Bredow: Sale of the soul home . In: Der Spiegel 20/2010 ( version by Spiegel Online ); Retrieved July 26, 2010
  19. ^ Nabu wants to privatize state forest , wz-newsline.de of May 17, 2010
  20. Luftschlößchen im Staatswald , Focus, April 14, 1997
  21. ^ Saarbrücker Zeitung: House ban for Wilhelm Bode , November 29, 1994
  22. ^ Saarbrücker Zeitung: Wilhelm Bode returns to his desk , February 15, 1995
  23. ^ Saarbrücker Zeitung: Environment Minister shows senior officials to the door , November 11, 2004
  24. ^ Saarbrücker Zeitung: Mörsdorf ends staff dispute , August 18, 2005