Subsidies for Forest Owners after Storm Events
Examples from Baden-Wuerttemberg after "Lothar"
Fig. 1: Afforestations
of deciduous trees have been aided with more than
The governments of all "Lothar" storm affected
countries (Switzerland, France, Germany resp. Baden-Wuerttemberg)
responded with promises for storm-affected forest owners. In Baden-Wuerttemberg
the following aims were pursued:
- Support of private forest owners
(especially small-scale forests of 5-200 ha)
- Stabilisation of the timber market
- Securing of afforestation and
regeneration of storm damaged areas.
Subsidies in Baden-Wuerttemberg are
divided into financial and organisational/infrastructural respectively
A. Financial Subsidies
- Partial remission of income tax for
severely affected enterprises according to Section34b EStG of the Income Tax
- Application of reduced tax rates for
processing storm damaged timber in future financial years;
- Possibility to subtract expenses of
afforestation from current working expenses and;
- Request of commencement of an
ordinance to the forest damage compensation law from the Federal Council of
Immediate aid in the State of Baden-Wuerttemberg in 2000
For small scale private forests and state forests:
- Direct subsidies for private forests
in monetary form
- Establishment of wet storages in small scale
private forests, engagement of service companies, reassignment of foresters
from other federal states
- Set up of wet storages in state
- Provide support service personnel to
promotion of storm damaged timber
- Application of the directive "Storm
- Removal of usually uninsured damages
For small sawmills:
Interest-reduced loans to raise storage capacity of
raw- and sawn timber as well as for further investments (Federal State Bank,
Federal Subsidy Bank)
Immediate measures were
deliberately applied only to private forest owners with forest properties
smaller than 200 ha. During 2000 and after confirmation of further subsidies
through the German Federation and EU, the range of subsidies was expanded.
Fixed amount subsidy
Pre-carriage and stack aid-
a one off subsidy for intermediary transportation to wet or dry storage. There
are no transport subsides for timber transportation to buyers
Wet storage aid-
annual subsidy to cover current storage costs (without pre-carriage and
investment shares). Can’t be claimed for free storage.
3.10 €/ m3 (in 1st year
8.20 €/ m3 incl. pre-carriage)
once at dry storage
2,56 €/ m3
Ground clearing flat rate-
for throw/break of stands/wind-slash without usable compact wood (compact
wood up to a market value of 511.30 €/ ha (1.000 DM/ha) doesn’t effect the
€/ha resp. 80% of the effective costs
Investments of timber conservation
equipment for wet or dry storages
40 % of costs (approved); set up of dry stacks
according to instructions
Repair of forest roads: only
for private forests < 200 ha area.
Costs up to 25,565 € or 40 %, above 50 % eligible
Natural regeneration, under
planting or afforestation: All kinds of forest
Only coniferous trees – no subsidy for
deciduous tree plantation: 4.090 €/ha
Mixed plantation (share of deciduous trees min. 40 %): 2,556 €/ha
natural regeneration: 767 €/ha
Components of the measures with partial subsidies
were part of the subsidy directive "Semi-natural Forestry" and could be
applied to (small) private forests up to 200 ha.
Special loan programs
- Term: three resp. four years
(according to estimated max. wet storage duration); repayment ahead of time was
- Interest reduction was 4.5 %.
- The minimum loan was set at 5,113 €
resp. 30.70 €/ m3; the final amount was in accordance with the
estimated processing costs.
- For private forests with an area of
200 to 1000 ha, a hardship clause was provided: the interest-reduced loan could
be used as long as the amount of storm damaged timber exceeded 3 times the
Recovery subsidy "Forest"
- Private forest enterprises (with an
area under management of 20 to 200 ha)
- Amount of storm damaged timber was
at least 40 m3/ha of the entire area under management
- Income between 0 and 92,000 €/year
- Subsidy between 102 - 256 €/ha for
area under management
- Allowance for 10 years
- No EU co-financing
- 2.04 Mio. € per year in 2000 and
B. Institutional Subsidies
Alongside financial measures, institutional subsidies
by public (forest) authorities were an important component in coping with "Lothar" storm damages.
The state forest authorities waived fees for private
forest owners (according to the private forest ordinance in
Baden-Wuerttemberg), for services related to coping with storm damages.
- Fast opening of public roads (which
were blocked by fallen trees) through personnel of the state forest
- Relocation of forest personnel
(civil servants and foresters) from less affected area of the state to storm
damage centres, support also provided to non-state forests.
- Temporary increase of forest
employees trough fixed-term contracts and the assignment of foresters from
other federal states. Also provided to private and communal forests. The
increased demand on financial resources was backed up by the federal state.
- Recruitment and supervision of
national and European contractors.
- Information sessions held at forest
offices with representatives of communal forests, the forestry association and
- Intensification of meetings at
forest offices with forest rangers and supporting civil servants.
- Informative meetings organised for
district foresters by upper forest authorities (Departments of Forestry at the
Regional Administrative Authority resp. Centre of State Forest Administration)
with the participation of the Forest Research Institute.
Measures for processing of storm damaged timber
- Processing within required
processing period of all perishable, valuable hard wood for all types of forest
- Planned delay in processing of timber from
coniferous state forests to ensure priority processing, transportation and sale
capacities for other forest owners.
- Set up events about work safety when
processing storm damages timber for communal foresters and private forest
Measures for timber sale and timber storage
- Deliberate detention of the state
forest to offer private and communal forests the possibility to sell their
timber at local markets. State timber was placed in storage or brought to
distant markets (and less sale revenues were accepted by the state).
- Fast selling of valuable hard wood.
- Depending on market conditions:
distance selling of timber in other (federal) states and to Austria, Belgium,
Japan, China and France (beech) - leading to new
customers for all kinds of forest owners.
- Set up/building of logistics for
railway, ship and truck by personnel of the state forest service for all types
of forest owners.
- Set up/building of wet storage
capacities in the state forest which also took timber from the communal and
- Development and testing of new
storage methods by the state forest services, e.g. wrapping timber in foil
Measures for afforestation
- Free afforestation planning for
strongly affected communal forests provided by the department of forestry
Special loan program
As a further measure of support, the State issued two
special loan programs and initiated nationwide measures concerning traffic law.
- Loans for cleanup of storm damages
on forest areas, purchase of equipment and non-durable assets and cost for
contractors (term: 4-6 years, one year of no repayment).
- Loans for purchase of necessary
machines, afforestation and backup-investments for storm damaged fixed assets
(term up to 20 years, three years of no repayment, maximum amount 0.26 million
Measures concerning traffic law
- The federal states were motivated to
increase the load limit from 40 to 46 tons and to issues exemptions to the ban
of driving on Sundays and public holidays as well as from the holiday travel
- The Deutsche Bahn (DB Cargo) were
asked to provide capacities for increased timber haulage by train.
State subsidies in 2000
Subsidies according to the jointly issued "Improvement
of Agricultural Structure and Coastal Protection".
Construction of timber storages (wet and dry
Up to 40% of the effective costs.
Internal labour can be taken into account for up to
15% of the approved construction sum.
Repair of forest roads:
Up to 70% of the repair costs.
Afforestation as well as under planting, including
natural regeneration in open or over-thinned stands, through seeding or
planting (incl. site preparation) and inclusive protection of the plantation
against game and securing of the plantation during the first five years:
Up to 50% of the costs for site-caused afforestation
of single coniferous tree species, up to 70% for mixed and silver fir stands,
up to 85% for deciduous plantations with a share of coniferous trees up to
Clearing of stands without usable material. Mechanic
or manual clearing of areas with a large share of wind-slash due to imminent
Up to 80% of the costs but not more than 1,023 €/ha.
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