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Forestry


German coal mining
German coal mining

Environmental management and conservation have played increasingly important roles in German forestry and fishing. Forests cover 31 percent of German territory, much of it mountainous. The forests sustain timber production and wood products, such as furniture, construction materials, and toys. The harvesting of timber, however, has always had to be supplemented with imports.

German law requires forest owners to maintain their forestland consistently and to replant harvested and thinned-out areas. Public concern with the depletion of this resource led to the enactment of the Forest Preservation and Promotion Act of 1975 and to the progressive withdrawal of forestland from commercial exploitation.

Since the early 1980s, increasing industrial pollution and automobile emissions have been blamed for a tree blight that had affected half of the nation’s forests by the mid-1990s, causing leaves and needles to drop and slowing tree growth (see Acid Rain). This damage was discovered, on unification, to be particularly high in the forests of the former East Germany, since the Communist government had made no effort to monitor environmental damage.

Germans consider their woodlands and forests important recreation areas, especially near cities, where they are regarded as the ideal antidote for the stresses and pollution of urban life. The states with the largest forests are Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg, Hessen, and Rhineland Palatinate (Rheinland-Pfalz), but there are also densely forested areas in the northeast and in the south of former East Germany.

Fishing


The importance of Germany’s fishing industry has declined since the 1970s, reflecting the expansion of other countries’ territorial fishing zones and the depletion of fish stocks in the remaining open waters. Germany’s annual catch includes marine fish such as Atlantic herring, blue mussel, Atlantic mackerel, cod, and varieties of flatfish. Domestic fish production, especially of carp and trout, has dramatically increased by the raising of fish in ponds and by systematic fish management on rivers and lakes. "Germany" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia

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