Our most beautiful forests. Montmain forest: a multifaceted forest


It was not long before the forest of Montmain disappeared from the map. Belonging to a private owner, the forest risked being sold and gradually seeing its surface area reduced as it was cleared.

So in 2003 the city of Autun, located at the gates of the forest, has embarked on the acquisition of this natural space, in association with the Conservatory of natural spaces (CEN) of Burgundy and the Forest Group for the protection of deciduous trees in the Morvan.

“The territory of the forest was then distributed, for its management, between these three actors, according to their interests”, explains Julien Barnay, responsible for the Environment Pole within the technical services department of Autunois.

The city of Autun has thus given priority to areas of the forest where the municipality’s water catchments are located, while CEN has focused on sectors with higher added value in terms of biodiversity, where logging has been put on hold, to let the forest evolve naturally.

All environments are now protected

But if particular attention is paid to certain areas of the forest, the whole is now managed sustainably, with the desire to develop a landscape of irregular high forest, far from the alignments of Douglas-fir that we found until then.

All the existing environments within the forest, whether they are wetlands hosting birches or alders or peaty environments which are accompanied by their anthology of characteristic plants, are now preserved and enhanced.

“Reconcile all uses including visitors”

But, here as elsewhere, the preservation of the environments is imagined in parallel with the reception of visitors, in a forest very frequented by the inhabitants of Autun: “Our objective is to reconcile all the uses of the forest, which is crossed by the route of the Great crossing of the Morvan by mountain bike and by various GR ”, explains Julien Barnay.

A reserve for the practice of fly fishing will soon be set up and an enduro mountain bike base is in the process of receiving the label allowing it to appear on the map of potential training sites for the 2024 Olympic Games.

Beyond the preservation of natural spaces and welcoming visitors, the forest is now at the center of ambitious territorial projects. “The fact that three entities share its management has made it possible to set up an FSC certification project (Forest Stewardship Council, an environmental label guaranteeing sustainable forest management, Editor’s note), in partnership, in particular, with the Regional Natural Park of Morvan and the Nièvre departmental council, ”continues Julien Barnay.

A way to reaffirm certain commitments made in the exploitation of the forest, and to think about the creation of a local sector, allowing to put around the table of the craftsmen, who could use the certified wood of the forest of Montmain.

A new playing card for this multifaceted forest, which has found a balance between multiple uses.


Source: A la Une – Le Progrès | Le Progrès by www.leprogres.fr.

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