In Israel we carefully plant trees, one by one, and nurture them.
People around the world donate money to Keren Kayemet to plant trees in barren landscapes.
It is against the law to cut down a tree without special permission.
But here in Austria it is almost like a mitsvah, a good deed, to fell some trees.
I was told that the forests are simply taking over the land.
We saw this by the wayside while hiking from down from Hochart.
You just tow it into the woods and start sawing.
The logs fit neatly into the back part.
You see woodpiles everywhere here in rural Austria.
I'm a bit envious, especially when I read this report from the 1990s about Austria's forest harvesting:
"Forest land: 3.9 million ha (46% of the total area, 0.5 ha per capita). The forest area is steadily increasing by some 2,000 ha a year ..."
One hectare (ha) = 2.47 acres. Sigh ...
UPDATE: Merisi of Vienna (do see her lovely blog!) gave us this good info in her comment:
"Woods and trees in Austria are well protected where necessary.
a fact that wood acreage is increasing here. Alpine landscapes are
often cultural landscapes, created by farmers. Once they stop
cultivating the meadows, those are quickly overgrown by bushes and later
by trees developing into forests. Keeping this cultural heritage is one
of the reasons farmers in high alpine zones receive subsidies."