Leave more space for nature

  1. Jisin General
  2. Jissen district

creature: updated:

to: Christina Young

Umbrellas and rubber boots were in demand while walking through the Langder Forest, where participants learned interesting facts about the wilderness in the shadow of the constant rain. © Tina Jung

What options are available to municipalities to make their forests suitable for climate change? Experts provided the answer during a walk in the woods on the edge of the Langed district of Hungen, called by NABU Hessen: gentle use on the one hand and natural evolution on the other.

Municipalities are also feeling the effects of climate change affecting forests. Three years of drought caused severe damage in some places. Result: Affected wood cannot be marketed at all or in worse conditions. More money should be spent on landscaping. This puts a strain on finances. How cities and communities can better protect their green oases and make them fit for the future with the goal of changing climatic conditions was the theme of a picnic in the woods called by NABU Hessen to the outskirts of Langued. More careful use and completely natural development of forests – these are the answers of experts to the problem.

In order to particularly illustrate the last point, conservationists – notably Gerhard Epler and Mark Harthon, Chairman and Managing Director of NABU Hessen, as well as representatives of local associations such as Stefan Kanwischer and Bodo Fritz, who led the tour – chose the Hungen area forestry as a venue. As a section of 176 hectares in a city forest, this could soon become part of the “Westlicher Vogelsberg” wilderness area, one of the largest of its kind in Germany (GAZ reported).

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In September, Hungary’s city council spoke out in favor of a study involved in the project. A decision on this should be made at the end of May. In the event of an affirmative vote, the area will be removed from forest use. An informational event on the pros and cons was held at the end of March, and an online citizen survey in the first two weeks of April. Mayor Rainer Wengorsch, at the request of GAZ, said that the assessment had not yet been completed. The results will be shown next week.

Wengorsch himself was positive about the project, as he confirmed while walking in the woods. The project is “definitely worth considering” and for the city the opportunity to become part of something bigger. But there are also other voices – the CDU publicly criticized two weeks ago. That’s why it’s important to reach out and start a conversation, according to the mayor.

Nabu’s managing director, Harthon, explained why the project was particularly important in relation to climate change. If you leave the forest to itself, you give it the opportunity to rejuvenate. According to Harthon, who cited experiences from other areas, reforestation works this way in 90 percent of areas. In addition, natural regeneration will lead to the emergence of tree species that are more adapted to the climate.

It’s important to give nature more space, according to the NABU director. This also applies to forest areas used by municipalities for forestry purposes. “Wipe less, fall less, sow less” is the mantra that cities and municipalities must heed.

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Regarding the project, Nabu State President Ebler spoke of an “excellent contribution to climate protection” because trees and soil in the old stands bind more carbon dioxide, according to Ebler. “I would be glad if Hungener Stadtwald became part of the Wilnis area.” According to Eppler, this is an important approximation, since such an adjacent wild forest will be created on more than 1,200 hectares – the second largest in the state of Hesse. Pound also with a view to tourism in the town of Shepherd, where natural recreation has been a priority for years.

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