published9. August 2022, 22:00
wood shortageNow the firewood is scarce – foresters fear wood thieves
For fear of a cold apartment, tree trunks are increasingly being stolen from forests in Germany. Firewood is also becoming scarce in Switzerland – the foresters are hoping for moral courage to keep thieves away.
Due to the energy crisis, more and more wood is being stolen from the forests in Germany.
This could also happen in Switzerland. Various foresters believe so.
The reason: the firewood is in high demand. If this remains the same, some foresters will no longer be able to deliver wood to the end consumer by the end of October.
In order to prevent thefts in the forests, the foresters count on civil courage.
Concerns about a winter with gas shortages, the associated price increases and cold apartments, worry people. In Germany, wood thieves are therefore increasingly roaming around in the forests, stealing entire tree trunks. Partly professionally with trucks.
To date, there have hardly been any reports of wood theft in Swiss forests. “The hurdle to driving a car into the forest to steal wood is very high,” says Florian Landolt from Wald Schweiz. This has rarely happened in the past.
Scarcity could lead to more thefts
However, that could change soon, Swiss foresters fear. Logs and firewood are also in great demand in Switzerland. “The demand for wood has increased significantly in recent weeks,” says Markus Amhof, forester and forest entrepreneur in the canton of Zug.
The forester therefore fears that there will also be more wood thefts in the forests in Switzerland. “If the wood isn’t available and people are freezing, the inhibition threshold goes down,” says Amhof. Since the wood has to be stored for between one and three years before it can provide heat, the supply from many wood sellers is limited. “If the high demand persists, I won’t have any more wood to sell at the end of October.”
Thomas Studer, head of the Leberberg forestry operation in the canton of Solothurn, shares this assessment. “The wood reserves are melting like glaciers,” says Studer. That is why Studer also assumes that there will be more wood thefts in the Swiss forests. The forester is already noticing that many people pick up wood left on the ground while walking and take it home with them.
Dependent on moral courage
However, the forest owners cannot do much against wood theft. The foresters’ areas are too large to keep a watchful eye everywhere. “We rely a little on civil courage here,” says Studer.
It has often happened that the population has reported thefts directly to the forester. “We’re grateful for that. We then remove the wood from this location,” says Studer. The forest is not a self-service shop. If you are caught stealing wood, you will be sanctioned. “It’s theft and therefore punishable,” says Studer.
In some regions, such as the city of Winterthur, there have already been capacity bottlenecks due to the high demand. Firewood cannot be purchased from the wood shop until the end of August. reported about it TeleZüri.
The run on firewood can also be felt at the Landi Switzerland sales outlet. On request, Landi Switzerland writes: “We assume that certain products cannot be delivered temporarily or in reduced quantities.” However, Landi is in contact with various suppliers in order to find new procurement opportunities.
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