The importance of forests
It is probable that most Italians do not perceive the extraordinary wealth of our country in forest terms. Indeed, we should undoubtedly consider ourselves a "forest nation" given that forests cover 43% of the Italian territory (against 41,5% of agricultural surfaces) and above all that these are continuously increasing surfaces, which have more than doubled since the Second World War today and which have reached levels of extension comparable to those present centuries ago in Italy and therefore well before the industrial era. Wooded areas spread throughout the Italian regions, varied and heterogeneous in composition based on climatic and stational differences and above all shaped by anthropic activity and where they still represent an element of high economic and social importance in many territorial realities.
A fundamental habitat
Woods that are clearly a fundamental habitat for many species of flora and fauna, with high biodiversity and with a complex network of ecosystem balances capable of providing essential services for human existence such as climate change mitigation, CO2 capture and storage , the regulation of rainwater and water courses, the protection of the soil and slopes and many others. Despite this, the situation of our forests is not rosy as there is a basic lack of widespread and active management of these precious surfaces aimed not only at their conservation, but also for a balanced and compatible use of the wood resource. There is also the danger of man abandoning many marginal areas of our agro-forestry territory, which can therefore lead to further degradation due to lack of management and supervision of the territory (with a consequent increase in the risk of fires and/or instability ). The hunting world is clearly involved and interested in the aspects of conservation and enhancement of the national forest heritage as a habitat of strong environmental interest. In particular, the strong increase in ungulate fauna that has been recorded in the last half century due to the consequent increase in wooded areas at a national level should be mentioned. A positive aspect, but which clearly requires more and more joint management assessments between foresters and hunters to achieve a population balance that does not excessively impact the existence of the forest itself and its biodiversity.
The National Forestry Strategy
Of particular interest is also the aspect of the conservation of forest inclusions and open or marginal areas to avoid excessive forestation. Due to the richness in biodiversity and above all for the increase in faunal habitats, it is in fact necessary to maintain and manage the conservation of open micro-environments in the forest and therefore avoid excessive forestation, especially at the expense of precious natural spaces such as meadows and wetlands. Particular attention must also be paid to the assessment of silvicultural activities and human interventions in general on our forests. In fact, interventions that help to increase the faunal potential of a forest area or at least that do not alter the habitats of vulnerable and more valuable wildlife species must be privileged and weighted. All these attentions that are already contemplated in the recent programming of the National Forestry Strategy, which we hope will also be applied at the local level, but above all that can initiate an effective institutional participation of hunters in the protection of this precious heritage. (Italian Hunting Federation press office)
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