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Spontaneous reforestation of fallow land as assessed by locals and tourists

 

One of the main arguments for handing out agricultural subsidies in Swiss mountainous areas is the conservation of traditional landscapes. The tax-payers will only accept this costly policy if they really experience land abandonment and reforestation negatively.

To find out what people think about land abandonment we conducted qualitative in-situ-interviews as well as standardised questionnaires and photo-experiments. It was found that land abandonment is assessed negatively primarily if it results in vast homogeneous forest patches, whereas a mosaic of open land and woodland is favoured. Thus, from the point of view of landscape preference, it can be concluded that planning measures should prevent old-field succession primarily in those cases, where spontaneous reforestation might result in vast homogeneous forest patches.

Publications

  • Hunziker, M. & Buchecker, M., 1999: Bedürfnisorientierte Landschaftsentwicklung im Gebirgsraum? Ergebnisse sozialwissenschaftlicher Untersuchungen. Forum für Wissen 1999/2
  • Hunziker, M., 2000: Einstellungen der Bevölkerung zu möglichen Landschaftsentwicklungen in den Alpen, Birmensdorf, Eidg. Forschungsanstalt WSL. 157 S.
  • Kienast, F., Hunziker, M., 1997: Vom Photoexperiment zur Karte der Schönheit von Landschaften. Informationsblatt des Forschungsbereiches Landschaft 34: 1-3.

  • Hunziker, M. & Kienast, F. 1999: Impacts of changing agricultural activities on scenic beauty - a prototype of an automated rapid assessment technique. Landscape Ecology 14: 161-176.
  • Hunziker, M., 1995: The Spontaneous Reafforstation in Abandoned Agricultural Lands: Perception and Aesthetical Assessement by Locals and Tourists. Landscape and Urban Planning 31: 399-410
  • Hunziker, M., 1994: Wiederbewaldung von Brachflächen - ein Verlust für das Landschaftserlebnis? Cratschla 2/1/1994: 34-39
  • Hunziker, M., 1993: Wenn Wiesen zu Wald werden... ein Verlust für das Landschaftserlebnis? Inf.bl. Forsch.bereich Landsch. WSL 18: 1-2