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Planning in Italian forestry


, : Planning in Italian forestry. Atti R Accad Georgofili [Florence] 11(1): 74-86

Mountain forests occupy 61% of the Italian forest area and 33% of producing soils in the mountain zone. The remaining 67% is occupied by pastures and fields. Considering that forests were cut down on almost sterile soils to make place for poor crops and that cropped fields were soon abandoned, and that soils in most of the mountain regions are insufficiently protected against erosion, afforestation of mountain zones constitutes one of the most urgent points in any land-use program. According to the author, mountain forests should cover 75% of the Italian forest area. In the hill zone forests not only play a protective role, but they are of economic importance as sources of timber and charcoal, and as pasture and sources of food for man and domestic animals (chestnuts and acorns). The area of hill forests may be reduced somewhat to extend to olive groves and vineyards. The area of forests in the plain is no more than 300,000 ha., about 5% of the total forest area. Actually 79.8% of all forests are composed of broad-leaf trees, 20.2% of conifers. The author would increase the area of conifer forests, because Italy is not self-sufficient in conifer timber. High forest constitutes 41% of all forests, mixed coppice 5.35%, and coppice composed of a single sp. 53.61%. High forests and mixed coppice should be increased. The latter are economically preferable to one-sp. coppices. About 64.2% of the forest area is private property, 3.6% is managed by the State, and 32.2% by communities. As only a small part of privately owned forests are managed according to sould rules of modern forestry, it seems desirable that the Government should extend its forest holdings. Meanwhile, the author proposes to include forestry science in the study program of agricultural colleges.

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