Horses help forests with climate change: a workshop at the Forestry Office in Hachenburg

Message from 01/06/2021

An interdisciplinary workshop at the Forestry Office in Hachenburg / Forstliches Bildungszentrum was devoted to the question of how to protect forest soils. Experts came to the conclusion that horse carriages will be an ecological solution, but their use is associated with many problems and reservations.

Monika Runkel (FA Hachenburg) explained to lay people in forestry why more efforts are being made to methods that protect soils. Various themed posters have been made for this. Photos: Roberto Robalto

Hachenburg. We have already reported brainstorming about the meaning of soil.

The second part of the training was about Possible solutions: How do we support the equine business?
This Essential Question for the workshop was discussed in an interdisciplinary and committed manner. Everyone agreed that “wooden backs with horses” should be taken out of the mystical existence and contributed many creative ideas.

1. Policy The request was made that soil protection should be worthwhile. The financing policy should provide targeted financial support for soil conservation operations and thus for the widest possible distance between trails and gentle forestry technology, including horse works. In this context, the need to define the legal term “appropriate agriculture and forestry” or “good professional practice” was discussed. What exactly does that mean in times of climate change? Soil protection should not be an individual decision, it should be part of the services of the public interest.

2. Also in the field education There is a need to work. Foresters can do additional training to become machine operators. Additional training corresponding to “riding” is missing so far and must be provided. There is a great need for recognized training companies for this profession. IGZ is involved here as an association.

3. It can be a great contribution to professionals complete education to bear. The Forest Education Center Rhineland-Palatinate at the Forestry Office in Hachenburg will offer more interdisciplinary workshops of this kind. In addition, demonstration areas are created in the training forests of the Forestry Bureau, which are used specifically for training, further education and further training of foresters, but also for the interdisciplinary education of forest owners, forest companies and representatives of nature conservation. This will have an effect in practice.

4. The Center of Excellence For forestry and forestry technology, the Landesforsten RLP (KWL) will support the FBZ in the future in developing performance data, reward bases for equine work and other gentle technologies. This professional collaboration between the centers of competence for education and technology will greatly contribute to reducing the “fear of communication” and effective communication.

5. Participants Forest Practitioner It will identify potential areas for future use of horse eggs and use them more consistently. In particularly sensitive areas, the horse should be used mainly. One may wish to increasingly advertise long-term framework agreements in order to provide more security planning for both sides. KWL’s updated tender documentation will be helpful in this.

6. Also representatives Conservation management (SGD Nord and uNB) Horses will increasingly be used to advertise appropriate maintenance of the area, for example in nature reserves, and to provide further training if necessary.

7. By forest ownership All participants from municipal forests, Hauberg cooperatives and large private forests have concrete applications in mind and want to use horses more in the future. The Forestry Office/FTA was asked for information and support from important local councils and was happy to agree.

8. Important and interesting A note about timber marketing Developed by the Entrepreneur Group. Contracts with “timber customers” are considered “industry friendly” and currently limit timber supply and also cause work in adverse weather conditions and soil damage. However, the contracts must be designed in a “forest friendly” manner so that more resilience is created for the forest. The wood can then only be moved on dry soil when the weather is right. This can reduce 80 percent of traffic problems. The motto might be “the wood customer has to wait for the forest to be ready”. This should be reflected in the design of the contract in the future. Thus, State Forestry and Municipal Timber Marketing Organization (HWRT) “timber marketing” are invited to the next workshop!

Conclusion: A “gentle forest technology” is needed to better achieve the goal of protecting the soil. The use of horses is an important and sustainable technology in appropriate forests. Foresters would like to promote this technology and of course incorporate it into forestry work. Each area can contribute to a viable solution. The participants all learned with each other and from each other in the workshop. New networks appeared. Horse handlers and machine operators like to work better together, forest workers and nature conservation authorities look for more opportunities, forest owners set goals, the Training Center and KWL provide information and exhibit areas, and the IGZ supports all of these interests wherever necessary. The multidisciplinary approach of the workshop contributed to finding better overall solutions, was interesting and opened up new horizons. Through exposure to information, communication and encouragement, each individual will be able to develop an “Equity Work Impact” in their area. True to the motto of Westerwald FW Raiffeisen: “What one cannot do, many can!” (evening)

More on this: Conservation

Local: Hachenburg and surroundings

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