Forest policy

The chair deals with the societal processes that underlie conflicts of interest in the forest domain and their regulation. The focus is on the stakeholders, their interests and strategies as well as the conflicts that arise from the diverse set of constellations in the political arena of the “forest”.The methodological emphasis is on the application and development of social empirical instruments (questionnaires, observations, content analyses) with a sound theoretical basis. The aim is to develop theoretical principles to describe forest-related decision-making and the social demands on forests at the local, regional, national and international level.We are in regular contact with forest policy experts from neighbouring countries. A meeting of forest policy researchers takes places every year where colleagues from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and Hungary discuss and exchange ideas. In 2006, the chair organised the 38th meeting of forest policymakers in Freising.

The research group of forest policy is divided into three sections:


Privately owned forest

This branch of research investigates the scarcely nature of private forest owners. Our research projects examine the questions: How do private forest owners perceive their forests? How do they manage their forests? Are their possibilities to mobilize the high reserves in private forests? Which are the results of structural change in agriculture?

Research Projects


Advice from state foresters and self-help organizations are two key factors in communicating with private forest owners. For this reason, the research section on consulting builds directly on the results of the private forest section.

Research Projects

  • FZus 2020: Development and status of the Forest Consortia in Bavaria with special consideration of the advice of the Bavarian Forest Administration
  • Public welfare oriented consulting by the Bavarian Forest Administration - Conception of a consulting system
  • Advising forest associations on Bayer's content, methods and successes
  • Communication strategies in forestry consulting
  • Possibilities and limits of agro-ecological advice with special consideration of the project "Structurally rich habitats in the agricultural landscape" in Bavaria
  • Capacity Building for Support to Private Forest Owners and Public Participation in Slovenia
  • Quality management of the consulting service of the Bavarian State Forestry Administration at the forest office level

Perception of forests and forestry

The projects in this section are carried out in cooperation with the working group on environmental communication. The focus is on how the public and groups perceive the forest, its management and other uses. This forms the basis for recommendations on communication and action strategies for relevant stakeholders. An important research focus in the field of forest policy has recently become the topic of forests and health.

Research Projects:

  • Forest use for health purposes
  • Forests and health - The therapeutic contribution of forests to rehabilitation clinics in Bavaria
  • The Slaughterhouse Paradox: Population Associations with the Terms Forest, Wood and Forestry
  • Awareness of the Bay. state forest administration
  • Assessment of recreational facilities by forest visitors
  • Development of a "forest barometer" as an information system on forest-relevant public opinion in Bavaria
  • The myth of the forest - Demands on the forest and forest use using the example of the Ettal monastery forest 1700-2014
  • Perception and evaluation of extensively dead stands in the Bavarian Forest National Park by tourists
  • The "Iphöfer and their middle forest"

Further Projects

  • Modelling decision behaviour of forest managers