Bern, Switzerland
Bern, Switzerland

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Conedera M.,Eidgenossische Forschungsanstalt WSL | Bozzini C.,Eidgenossische Forschungsanstalt WSL | Scapozza C.,Instituto Science della Terra | Re L.,Sezione Forestale Cantonale Ticinese | And 2 more authors.
Schweizerische Zeitschrift fur Forstwesen | Year: 2013

Historical or present oblique terrestrial photographs documenting natural disasters are abundant in archives, may be easily shot nowadays, and often depict very informative details. In most cases, however, they can hardly be georeferenced, what prevents a systematic and technical use of such material for analyzing and documenting the disaster-induced damage traces. The monoplotting software developed by the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Resarch (WSL) in Bellinzona has been conceived to meet these needs and allows georeferencing and orthorectifying ordinary individual photographs in order to produce georeferenced vector data by drawing them directly on the pictures and exchanging them with traditional GIS-Systems. In the present contribution we report on the results of selected applications of the monoplotting tool showing the suitability of the tool for the geographical processing of historical and present natural events, which are difficult to map in the field.

Schmidt R.,Amt fur Wald des Kantons Bern | Hostettler M.,Cycad AG
Schweizerische Zeitschrift fur Forstwesen | Year: 2014

An evaluation has recently been carried out of the achievements and organization of the Forest Service of the Canton of Bern. It appears from the study that the present administrative structure is not adequately adapted to the challenges of the future: a lower level of forest management, increasing expectations for the forest, higher risk, fewer management options for forest development. The new strategy for the Service is "Help the forest owners to help themselves". Forest entrepreneurs are the motor of the forest economy. The Canton of Bern, working with the forest owner association of the Canton, is therefore looking for new ways of working with them. It is focusing on its core tasks and giving organizational priority to solidarity, speed of response and concentration of resources.

Since the 1950s, high altitude regeneration projects have been carried out in the avalanche control areas of the Bernese Oberland, using site-appropriate seedlings of domestic provenance from the cantonal nurseries. These plantations are intended to prevent, in the medium to long term, the start of avalanches. On the one hand, the article presents an analysis of the measures taken since 1995, and the field measurements made in the high altitude plantation at Schwanderort (1730-1780 m) above Brienz. This provides information on the development of young Spruce under extreme external conditions. On the other hand, the article investigates from what age the regeneration can provide avalanche protection functions, based on the growth characteristics of 112 trees of different ages, from 24 avalanche protection projects. Site conditions at high altitude are much more extreme and vary more from year to year than at lower altitude. Nineteen years after the plantation at Schwanderort, 60% of the Spruce are still alive; over this period, their average height has increased from 19 cm to 152 cm. Because of the short vegetative period, their height growth takes place between 20 June and end of July, and is stopped or strongly reduced when average temperatures are below 10°C. Analysis shows that at the upper forest limit, one must wait 45-50 years before regeneration can fulfil its avalanche protection function.

Meier-Glaser A.L.,Amt fur Wald des Kantons Bern | Beer W.,Amt fur Wald des Kantons Bern | Marti W.,Amt fur Wald des Kantons Bern
Schweizerische Zeitschrift fur Forstwesen | Year: 2015

The winter storms Vivian (1990) and Lothar (1999) hit Canton Berne with its many privately owned forests hard. The main objective of state intervention was to protect the forest areas that had remained intact. Important success factors in the management of the event were the strong attachment of owners to their forest, the swift and clear strategic response by the forestry service, rapid credit approvals by government and parliament, and further the high level of motivation and persistence of all actors involved. Ensuring an open, regular and objective communication in a comprehensible form for all target groups and during all phases of the process was also of great importance. Framework conditions change, such as legal regulations, the political environment, the situation of forest owners and enterprises or the timber market. These present new challenges for those in charge. A next storm will again come unexpectedly and will have other impacts than Vivian or Lothar. But as then, a successful management of the event will depend on the motivation of forest owners, clear strategies, a competent forestry service, the political will to support measures in forests and along the wood chain, together with a good collaborative relationship between all actors.

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