Dauerwald - The whole thing says "watch nature"

Hans Schabel, speaking to the Science Committee, WWOA at CNR UW-SP 6/24/00

"Old Forestry" in Germany is summarized by age class management of one or a few species.  It is well documented and regulated.  Characterized by mechanized harvests and/or clear cutting.  This system has been found to be un-economical.

50% of the trees were not healthy due to air pollution (acidification), long term effects of old forestry (soil depletion etc.), windthrow (species planted on inappropriate soils), insect infestations, and deer damage.

Dauerwald has now been accepted as a "new forestry", was mandated for all forests in Germany in 1987.  Many forests are now in transition to Dauerwald - "permanent, sustainable"

Principles of Dauerwald:
1. restore balance of nature
2. maintain healthy soils
3. develop mixed composition
4. encourage un-even aged structure
5. maintain a large and valuable inventory

Dauerwald Practices:
1. allow only limited clear-cutting
2. natural regeneration of indigenous tree species
3. no rotation age - forest decides when a tree is mature
4. big tree management
5. lesser tree is harvested first (eventually the lesser tree is a good tree!)
6. de-emphasis on motorized harvest
          small, low impact harvest methods and equipment
7. work to create "natural conditions" for the specific forest area
          (in Germany the historical natural mix would be 2/3 hardwood and 1/3 conifer)
8. timber stand improvement and harvests blend into one operation
9. continuous "tinkering" to improve the quality and diversity of the forest

For Dauerwald to succeed, the deer herd must be reduced and controlled.  In Germany, finally science prevailed and they now put the "forest before game".  All foresters in Europe are wildlife managers. 

"Every tree you cut - you put your signature on the land."  Schabel - 2000
"The most beautiful forest is also the most productive!"  Moller - 1922

"We are lucky here in Wisconsin, our forest land has only been abused for 100 years.  In Europe most of the forest has been abused for 1000 years."  Schabel

Dauerwald envisions a productive forest of high quality timber.  The system is market flexible (though not in a dramatic fashion). 
The whole thing says "Watch Nature!"                                    more