was once of essential importance for the people of the area. When Baiersbronn was a town with 500 inhabitants, its livestock was estimated at 1750 animals. The sandstone ridges of the northern Black Forest at that time were proper summer pastures as in the Alps, with meadows, cabins for the herdsmen, resting and watering places for the cattle.
Almost a third of the nature park area is still used for agriculture today. It can be divided into three main areas:
- Grassland use in the central area
- Wine and fruit growing in the promontory zone
- Crop farming in the eastern district
Today, agriculture is on the retreat in many areas - afforestation is on the rise. In some communities, forest accounts for over 90 per cent of the area. Many farmers give up because the hard work no longer pays off. Formerly open spaces return to forest. The Black Forest is in danger of losing its characteristic cultivated landscape, its mixture of forest and meadows. This is where the nature park has to step in - supporting local farming is one of our main tasks.
Around two thirds of the nature park area consist of forests
, which are still the greatest asset of the Black Forest.
The old forestry trades, timber rafting, charcoal making, hawser making and wood cutting have left their marks on the landscape. Charcoal kilns, soot huts or rafter lakes bear witness to this past.
Today, mixed forests of coniferous trees dominate the Black Forest, but deciduous trees are on the increase again.
Today's nature-oriented forestry in the nature park with its focus on mixed forests with a high proportion of fir trees, a high structural diversity and a policy of refraining from large-scale clear-cutting wherever possible meets all the different demands made of the forest.
In order to protect rare species and to promote natural dynamic processes in the forest, additional protection is given to existing forest conservation areas, sometimes going as far as creating nature reserves that are totally protected from any interference.
The region's forest today has several functions. Through the production of timber, a renewable natural resource, it is an important economic factor and source of income for many rural enterprises. But it is also an important area for recreational activities and relaxation, both for visitors and the people living in the area.