Agriculture and forestry | Sustainable Forestry

Sustainable Forestry
The concept of sustainable forest management characterizes the general attitude of the estate since time immemorial.  

The idea of sustainability was evident in the logging and farming practices of the Cistercian monks, and even during large population expansions during the 12th and 13th centuries when thousands of hectares of forest were destroyed by overuse.  

However, the monks and other inhabitants of the monastery were not known to be involved in the consequent deforestation and destruction. Unlike their neighbors, they maintained a continuing effort to obtain what forest that remained and developed fallow marshlands for use in cultivation.  

They were, however, also eventually caught in the wave of deforestation and were part of a 20-year moratorium on timber usage known as the Holzungsrechte, so use of the forest could not counteract its renewal.  

The monks described the extension of this forest policy. Its preservation over the centuries was practiced by all of the abbeys, indicating a historical beginning point for modern sustainable forestry. There are still areas of forest in the vicinity of the former monasteries that are prime examples of this effort.
Sustainable Forestry
At the end of the 18th century a more sustainable form of wood usage had been developed as manifested in 1713 by Hans Carl von Carlowitz in his works on sustainability. This principle aims to leave future generations of trees in a more healthy and renewable state. That commitment to future generations is now enshrined in law. The Federal Forest Act (Bundeswaldgesetz) obliges forest owners to commit to "proper and sustainable" management practices.  

For the estate, sustainable forestry means taking care of the forest areas, maintaining their biodiversity, productivity, vitality, and availability. Thus, the capability to meet the ecological, economic and social demands of the forest are of prime importance as we look to preserve the area for the future.  

The estate underscores this awareness of the forest ecosystem in that the forest management is always subject to examination and certification. It should be noted that the estate administration’s dealings with indispensable raw materials surpasses timber responsibility. Climate change represents a challenge for today’s forest owners which increasingly threatens our forests by abiotic and biotic damage. Therefore, it is the ultimate goal of the estate to utilize only proven, low-risk species for timber production, and a site-specific selection is used as a preventative guard against deforestation.