A steep-slope protection forest near Gurtnellen, Switzerland. Any interventions in such forests are costly (Source: P. BRANG).
The management of many Alpine forests is not profitable as they are difficult to access due to their steep slopes. Therefore, the timber can only be harvested using costly cable crane logging. However, since interventions may be needed for particular goals, the question of financing those interventions becomes important. This is of particular relevance in protection forests.
The challenges faced in Alpine mountain forests are:
Global climate change will lead to higher average temperatures, higher temperature extremes and, in particular, more pronounced drought periods and heavy rainfall. The most likely climate scenarios suggest, within very short time, a climate which many of the tree species currently in place are unable to cope with. Hence, substantial changes in tree species are likely.