The history of a forest
Even Charles IV took care of our forests
He did not plant seedlings, hoe the soil, or cut trees, but he limited logging in order to protect forests. He did so in the fo1350’s by incorporating regulations in the forthcoming code of law. One of the reasons was his passion for hunting. One cannot hunt down the prey unless the woods are healthy and deep.
A significant change was introduced during the reign of Maria Theresa in the mid 18th century. New laws on forestry were enacted, and forest holders were obliged to obey. And they did, as the forest area has been growing ever since. Those who wanted to pass exams had to educate themselves first. That was the beginning of forestry education.
Austro-Hungarian law from 1852 made forests important for the economy. It is hard to believe that the same law was in force until 1960.
The rise and fall of monoculture
Which tree type yields the most wood? The one that grows fastest! Nature suffered a lot during the 19th century. Forests were not affected by air pollution, war, or collectivization. None of these unfortunate historical events harmed our forests too much. They all became the state’s property which took care of them, sometimes carefully, other times not so much. However, no one was really ready for the air pollution and acid rains of the 20th century. Extensive areas of mounting forests were destroyed and could not be saved by governmental measures.
Restitution, ownership changes
About 40% of forests were returned back to their original owners or their children after 1989. However, only few of them knew how to take care of them. That is why professional forestry specialists were appointed to give advice to private forest owners.
Nowadays, people can enjoy forests that have been cultivated by forestry specialists, scientists, and thousands of volunteers for several generations. And what is more, our forests are expanding by almost 2000 ha a year.
However, we are writing the story of a forest too. We have a forest of our own. Well, it is a harvested area of about 2 ha, located close to the town of Luhačovice, and we are going to take care of it. We are going to plant 7000 seedlings of conifers and broadleaf trees. The idea here is to return what we used in the past.