What, How, and Why? Collecting Traditional Knowledge on Forest Uses in Switzerland

  • Matthias Bürgi
  • Martin Stuber
Part of the Environmental History book series (ENVHIS, volume 2)


During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, forest use and management in Switzerland underwent radical changes (Bürgi 1999). Before this period, traditional forest uses, such as woodland pasturing, wood hay and litter collection and even crop production on temporary fields in the forest were a common practice throughout the country. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, these non-timber forest uses have been increasingly abandoned and/or banned from the forests. This development has been paralleled by an increasing interest in wood as an industrial good and the introduction of the science of forestry together with the implementation of forest laws. Furthermore, agricultural modernization and a rapidly growing infrastructure after the Second World War facilitated importing resources from abroad and consequently took pressure from the forests to supply resources for the local demand. Lately, uses, such as woodland pasturing and litter collection, have gained attention from various scientific disciplines due to their importance for cultural history, ecosystem development and carbon sequestration in forests (Perruchoud et al. 1999; Gimmi et al. 2008).


Forest Ecosystem Traditional Knowledge Ecosystem Development Case Study Region Litter Collection 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This research was generously funded by the Bristol-Foundation.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Landscape Dynamics, Landscape Ecology GroupSwiss Federal Research Institute WSLBirmensdorfSwitzerland
  2. 2.University of BerneBernSwitzerland

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