Der Beruf des Försters: So vielseitig wie der Wald selbst - NIKIN EU

The job of a forester: As diverse as the forest itself

We now know that forests are essential for our planet and life on it. The continued existence and protection of forests is therefore a major concern. How do forests and people work side by side? To do this, we asked the person who probably knows the forest best: the forester. We are very pleased that we were able to ask these and other questions to the Swiss forest warden Peter Piller.

It is now known that forests are essential for our planet and life on it. The continued existence and protection of forests is therefore a major concern. How do forests and people work side by side? To do this, we asked the person who probably knows the forest best: the forester. We are very pleased that we were able to ask these and other questions to the Swiss forest warden Peter Piller.

 

Wald

 

Peter Piller is 36 years old and comes from Plaffeien (FR). He works in the Rüschegg-Nord forest district (BE), where he runs a forestry business with eight employees. Peter remembers the two close-range encounters with the lynx as one of the best moments in his job. “A beautiful animal,” he adds.

 

Peter Piller

How did you become a forester?

Even as a little boy, I worked with my father in the forest. The forest has always fascinated me, be it in my hobbies or when working with the chainsaw. After a trial apprenticeship, it was immediately clear to me which path I would take.

 

What do you like best about your job?

Clearly the work in nature and the variety that this job brings with it. Long-term and sustainable thinking, which is probably not as popular in any other profession as it is here in the forest.

 

What are the tasks of a forester?

The job is very versatile and the forester is a generalist. It really depends on which region you work in and how the company is organized.

My main tasks in Rüschegg are advising the forest owners, marking the trees to be felled, planning logging and planting, maintaining the infrastructure (forest roads, etc.), selling wood and running the forestry business with eight employees.

What difficulties do you experience in your job?

To reconcile the various demands on the forest and find the best solution. The population and authorities often lack understanding of forest management.

The forestry staff plans at least two generations in advance. In order to have a permanent forest that fulfills its functions, we must and are allowed to cut down trees. We use the wood from these trees to harvest the only renewable raw material in Switzerland. With the sustainable forestry that we practice in Switzerland, we are doing something very positive for the forest and producing a CO2-neutral building material.

The price of round wood in Switzerland is very low, yet two-thirds of the wood required is imported from abroad. It is very difficult to run the forestry business profitably.

 

To what extent do foresters do something good for the environment by felling trees?

The felled trees give us the renewable and CO2-neutral raw material wood. It makes sense to harvest wood sustainably in our forests in order to prevent wood from being transported halfway around the world or from the jungles and tropical forests being cleared.

By cutting down trees, we make space for youth and bring light to the ground. We try to promote the mix by helping rare tree and shrub species.

By harvesting trees, we strengthen population stability and promote biodiversity.

 

What challenges does the Swiss forest have to contend with?

The pressure from the population on the forest, its inhabitants and the forest owners is constantly increasing. All requirements of bikers, riders, dog owners, hikers, etc. doing justice is impossible. A big challenge is to inform the population that every forest has an owner and that by managing it we are doing something very important and good for the forest functions.

 

Do you feel the effects of climate change on the forest?

We notice that the tree line is shifting upwards. The tree species are shifting. Certain tree species such as spruces have difficulty dealing with the drought. They are susceptible to the bark beetle or other pests.

 

What are the most common tree pests in the Swiss forest and what about invasive species?

In my area the bark beetle is the worst pest. With wood or Christmas trees that are imported into Switzerland, we are also increasingly receiving invasive pests that we were not yet aware of.

 

What measures does a forester take to combat tree pests? Can an infected tree be saved?

A tree infested with bark beetles can no longer be saved. However, you can combat the spread of the beetle by immediately cutting down the infected tree and transporting it out of the forest. If this is not possible, you can also remove the bark from the tree so that the larvae dry out.

 

What would you like to give to people who don't understand much about your job?

I recommend informing yourself before making hurtful criticism about forest management. The forestry staff thinks in very long cycles. Often the forest does not look nice to the average citizen after an intervention. The positive effects only become noticeable after a few years.

 

We at NIKIN would like to once again thank Peter Piller for his openness.

The profession of forester is essential for the functioning of the forest ecosystem, with the goal of the diverse tasks always being sustainability. Be it the use of native wood or the creation of a permanent forest. We therefore wish that the professional group of foresters would be shown more appreciation and gratitude. Ultimately, we all benefit from our native forest.

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1 Comment

Herzlichen Dank für den Einblick in den Beruf eines Försters! Mein Bruder war sich ebenfalls schon im Kindesalter sicher, später Förster sein zu wollen. Zu seinen Geburtstagen wünschte er sich jedes Mal verschiedene Spielzeug-Maschinen aus der Forsttechnik. Dabei sind wir gar nicht so wirklich mit dem Wald aufgewachsen, zumindest nicht mehr als die meisten anderen Kinder.
https://www.univoit.de/

Verena Stroh

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