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Near Nature Ranger service and Gathering Operations

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Near Nature Ranger service and Gathering Operations

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  1. Close to Nature Forestry and Harvesting Operations Hanns H. Höfle University of Göttingen Lower Saxony State Forest District of Bovenden

  2. Close to nature forestry and harvesting operations • Why close to nature forestry? • What is close to nature forestry? • What are the conditions for harvesting operations in stands of close to nature forestry? • How to deal with this situation with respect to technology, productivity, safety and the environment? • Conclusions

  3. Close to Nature Forestry: Reasons • New ideas within the forestry community • Outside forces put pressure on forestry

  4. Close to Nature Forestry: Example Lower Saxony (1) • Site protection and site-adapted species composition • Mixed stands • Ecological compatibility • Natural regeneration • Improvement of stand structures • Harvesting of target diameter trees • Conservation of old and dead trees; protection of rare and endangered species of flora and fauna

  5. Close to Nature Forestry: Example Lower Saxony (2) • Establishment of a network of protected forests 9. Provision of special non-wood services 10. Development and tending of forest edges 11. Forest protection following ecological aims (IPM) 12. Ecologically oriented wildlife management 13. Environmentally friendly forest technology

  6. Close to Nature Forestry: Example Lower Saxony (3) • Long-run ecological programme for state forests in Lower Saxony (“LÖWE-Programm”) • Developed by Prof. OTTO • Agreed upon between Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Environment • First example in Germany • Taken up by other states (“Länder”) in Germany (and other countries, e.g. DK) • Mandatory for state forests • Recommendation for other forest owners

  7. Close to Nature Forestry: Main Features • Forests are understood as ecosystems (mixed stands, site adapted species, rich and mosaic type stand structures) • Incorporates the principles of multiple use forestry • Aspects of nature conservation and biological diversity are taken into account • Disturbances should be minimised (continuous cover, minimal interventions, minimal damages to stands and soils) • Risks should be avoided

  8. Close to Nature Forestry: Characteristics of Stands • Variation of age and size of trees • Inhomogeneous stand structure (vertically and horizontally) • Reduced visibility • Obstacles through understory, regeneration, dead timber on the ground • Regeneration in gap like structures – > smaller areas of operations, greater care in felling operations • Target diameter harvesting –> large-size trees • Large trees –> more dead branches in the crowns • Old and dead trees accumulate in the stands

  9. Characteristics of Stands: Consequences • Harvesting = most dangerous operation in forestry; felling, in turn, most dangerous inside harvesting; falling branches, stumbling and falling down, cutting trees under tension in the wrong way • Risks are even greater now due to: • Greater tree dimensions • Impaired visibility • More obstacles in the stands and on the ground • Higher amount of dead timber • Everybody is allowed to enter the forest

  10. How to deal with these risks? • Safety is the responsibility of the enterpreneur • Safety comes before profits • Awareness raising • Good example • Systems approach

  11. Before an operation starts (1) • Risk analysis is obligatory (once for the standard, always for the special situation) • Refresher training for forest workers (e.g. directional felling, dealing with special cases such as leaning trees, awareness of safety) • Prescribed system of skidding lines is mandatory (decided upon, transferred to the terrain, marked in the stand) • Trees to the felled are marked + optimal felling direction + hint to risks • Hindering trees are also marked and must be felled in the first place

  12. Before an operations starts (2) • Choice of the optimal working technique • Parameters: type of trees – amount and type of dead timber (none – in the crown – dead trees) • Standard operation • Variation for forward, sideward … leaning trees • Use of hydraulic lifter • Felling with winch support • Fully mechanised harvesting systems • Written target agreement (work order)

  13. During an operation • Hindering trees are felled as the first ones • Dead trees might also be felled • (Dead trees – 5/ha - evenly distributed in the past; now, they are concentrated in part of a stand in order to decrease risks) • Optimal harvesting method is used (+ proper timing, high flotation tires, biodegradable oils and lubricants) + directional felling • Safety rules are obeyed (continous contact between workers, escape routes …) • Control of operation and consequences

  14. After an operation • Damages to the soil? • Damages to the remaining trees? • Damages in the regeneration? • Safety aspects: correct felling technique, escape routes?

  15. Productivity and Economics in Close to Nature Forestry (1) • Natural regeneration instead of planting • „Biological automation“ substitutes tending (at least partially) • Situation to start from (e.g. pure beech vs. pure spruce stands) • Tree dimension and timber quality

  16. Productivity and Economics in Close to Nature Forestry (2) • Larger trees to be harvested vs. • More careful and more complicated operations • Smaller amount to be cut per area? (clear-cuts vs. thinnings) • Benchmark? (fully mechanised harvesting operations, terrain, wage rates, optimised supply chains …) • Non-wood services?

  17. Safety • Successful safety campaigns (see examples in Switzerland, France, Germany …) • Safety pays Forestry is for people!!

  18. Conclusions • Close to nature forestry is a good example of sustainable forest management • It is multiple use forestry • The economics are promising – but … • Environmentally friendly harvesting operations (Reduced Impact Logging, Codes of Good Forest Practice) • Safety by means of a systems approach • Stand conditions change: adaptive management is required in the sense of DEMING‘s „plan – do – control – act!

  19. Thank you for your attention!