Over three days based in Sursee in the Canton of Lucerne, the Pro Silva Europe delegates from across Europe visited forests in public ownership.
The forest of Grün Stadt Zürich, the Gutschwald of Oberägeri and the Deiniker Wald of Baar in the Canton of Zug, the Holziker Wald of Hirschthal in the Canton of Aargau, and the forests of the local burgher communities of Grenchen in the Canton of Solothurn. The forests of Muhen, Hirschthal and Holziken have just celebrated 400 years of community ownership. All the forests visited have been for a long time managed following the Dauerwald principles. “Dauerwald is not a silvicultural system in itself, but encompasses a range of systems; and the management of forests under no particular system, but following the Dauerwald priciples.” (Helliwell, D. R. Forestry (1997) 70 (4): 375-379)
It was shown that Pro Silva forest management maintains and enhances a permanent forest asset delivering multiple benefits. Only a permanent forest managed by Pro Silva principles can continuously provide timber and employment, clean water, protection from rock falls and avalanches and a place for people to relax and to be creative. Regular working allows land managers to adapt to rapidly changing factors and to stimulate dynamic conditions where forests are more adaptive, more robust and resilient to the effects of climate change.
At the AGM Forêt Wallone asbl (not-for-profit organisation) of Wallonia, Belgium presented a handbook to illustrate the Department of Nature and Forests (DNF) circular no 2718 of 24.09.2013 relative to silvicultural measures to be adhered to for the practice of Pro Silva forest management.
The next Annual Meeting will be held in Brno, Czech Republic in September 2015.
Pro Silva Europe is the association of 27 national associations in Europe and the USA responsible for the promotion of close-to-nature continuous cover forest management, making a real contribution to integrating economic, environmental and social outputs from forests.