Silvicultural Controlling

Silvicultural Controlling with indicative figures based on forest inventory data

The objectives of the Bavarian Forestry Administration are determined in a general manner by the prevailing laws, regulations and directives. An elaboration of such objectives at the level of a forest office has been lacking, however, and therefore the possibility to use individual strengths and reduce limitations of each regional office. Unless concrete operational objectives in the form of references have been established, it remains impossible to monitor compliance with objectives and to intervene for controlling purposes.

Accordingly the planning process in forestry could be arranged in a generally efficient and transparent manner by using indicative figures. Controlling silvicultural management processes through indicative figures will become yet more pressing in the future, since the Bavarian Forest Administration was forced to save money due to increasingly scarce financial resources in recent years. These savings were mainly implemented by enlarging forest districts and regional offices. In line with this, information requirements for/on all kinds of management operations have increased. A system of silviculturally oriented indicative figures could markedly improve the information supply and facilitate the implementation of a more efficient controlling of operations. In doing so, it is crucial to develop a structure for such a system of indicators as well as to identify a methodology in how far indicative figures can be derived for setting targets of forest holdings and how actual developments can be monitored.

In case of the Bavarian Forest Administration conditions for accomplishing this task are quite favourable. Forest-wide inventories are meanwhile the standard practice for information collection in relation to forest planning. This kind of inventory was established as an inventory with permanent sampling plots on a large scale, which allows for a very precise quantification of the fluctuations that are essential for controlling. This data also offers the unique opportunity to obtain silviculturally relevant key figures, which can be used for the appraisal of targets. By analysing data on the current biophysical status of forest holding, as for example stocking timber volume, volume growth etc. and temporal changes of these key figures, it is possible to derive sound development strategies for forest management.