FOREST AND FOREST MANAGEMENT
Forest and pastures on the highland ridge Smrekovec–Komen–Travnik used to be in the property of the Count Turn and the Ljubljana diocese. Sunny and easy of accessible slopes were brought under cultivation as pastures already in the Middle Ages. Restrictions for pasturing were introduced by the planned forest management at the end of 18th century.
The policy in large estates forest was based on the clearcut and the spruce planting until the end of 2nd World War. Original beech forest remained only in small and hard accessible spots. Young spruce stands prevail nowadays. Such stand structures are sensitive to snow-breaks, spruce needles that fall down make the soil acid. Some animal species are absent because of the lack of deciduous trees. Other species incorporate in peaceful spots with a lot of deceased wood (e.g. three toed woodpecker). The forest growth is here slower as in the valley, the reason is a higher altitude. The ground vegetation is abundant with blueberries which are an important link in food chain for many animals. The exaggeration of picking forest fruits has a very negative impact on endangered species (e.g. capercaillie). Two sites with the primary wild growing Pinus cembra on the northern slope of the Smrekovec highland ridge (“Pudgersko”) are a dendrological speciality.
Pastures on the ridge are partially covered with spruce. Foresters would like to maintain pastures, because of the rich botanic value and the landscape aesthetics. Where there is no more land use possible, subventions are paid to landowners for spruce cutting. Some of those activities were done also by the hunter’s society.
Nowadays the forest is managed in terms of a sustainable development. Areas with endangered species are tried to be conserved. The work in the forest is time limited according to the law prescriptions (Pravilnik o varstvu gozdov, Ur. l. RS, št. 92–3942/2000). Some skidding routes are closed in vulnerable spots. It is desired that visitors would understand all the intentions connected with motor visiting limitations. We will be able to preserve our nature for coming generations only with joined endeavours.