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How to Maintain Domesticity of Usages in Small Rural Forests? Lessons from Forest Management Continuity through a French Case Study

Anne Sourdril, CNRS / UMR 7533 Ladyss
Emilie Andrieu, INRA / UMR 1201 Dynafor
Alain Cabanettes, INRA / UMR 1201 Dynafor
Bernard Elyakime, INRA / UMR 1201 Dynafor
Sylvie Ladet, INRA / UMR 1201 Dynafor


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The management of small private forests in the Western World has been under threat owing to rural and agricultural transformations since the Second World War. The actions put in place to preserve those forests are hard to implement because the forests are managed essentially in an unofficial way that is not clearly understood. Through multidisciplinary approaches, our aims were to understand local forest management processes, to assess the continuities and discontinuities of usages and practices in the Coteaux de Gascogne area of France, and to propose guidelines for future forest management. Forest management is shaped by a traditional but unrecognized social system called the house-centered system, which has contributed to a high degree of domesticity and diversity in forestry practices in this area. If forest management guidelines are to be effective, any guidelines put in place should take into account the roots of the traditional management system and attempt to comply with local social organizations. This is a major challenge regarding the long-term preservation of small private forests.

Key words

anthropology; coppice with standards; domestic usage; forestry; history; house-centered system; small private forest; southwestern France

Copyright © 2012 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance. This article is under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. You may share and adapt the work provided the original author and source are credited, you indicate whether any changes were made, and you include a link to the license.

Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087