Forest and forestry in Freiburg

The City of Freiburg’s cultural and economic development, as well as how the people who live here see themselves, have been shaped for centuries by the city’s geographic location in the Upper Rhine Plain at the foot of the Black Forest. The core city is surrounded to the east and south by forested slopes stretching as far as the Rosskopf, Schauinsland, and Schönberg mountains, and to the west by the flat moss forests shaped by groundwater and deciduous trees. Due to the diversity of natural habitats and the various, partly historical forms of management, the municipal forest boasts an exceptionally large number of forest biotopes and plant and animal species.  As owner of more than 5,000 hectares of forest, the city itself manages most of these tracts of forest and has maintained its own municipal forestry office since 1835. The tasks of this office include preserving this diverse, near-natural ecosystem, using wood as a regional and renewable resource, and shaping the municipal forest to ensure that members of the public can access and experience it as a unique space for recreation and leisure. These wide-ranging functions and the great potential of the municipal forest are the reasons for its major significance concerning environmental, climate, and social policies. The forest’s diversity and beauty attract many visitors, making it an important location factor for the city.

(Photos: City of Freiburg)

The forestry office’s primary task used to be reforesting areas that had been exploited too heavily in the past. Such efforts proved to be an enormous achievement that benefit nature and the landscape today. In addition to managing and maintaining the municipal forest, employees build and operate recreational facilities in the forest, maintain biotopes, educate others about the environment, engage in public relations, and offer many excursions each year. The forestry office also serves as the lower forestry and hunting authority for the state. It fulfills state duties as regards advising and supervising non-municipal tracts of forest (either held by private individuals or foundations) within Freiburg’s boundaries and monitoring compliance with legal regulations.

The Mundenhof, Freiburg’s most important local recreational establishment, is now also a department of the forestry office, which has more than 50 employees.