The private forest with about half of the forest area in Germany plays a major role in forestry policy. Moreover, pluralization, urbanization and digitization require an adaptation of forestry policy instruments to balance interests between private forest owners and the rest of society. Many of the exact information about both groups was missing so far. The presence of this study has succeeded in closing some of the previously existing knowledge gaps.
The share of private forest owners in the population is 3%, this corresponds to 1.82 million people. As a result of the change of ownership, around 65,000 people become new forest owners each year. The private forest owners as a part of the society differ in their living situation to a small extent from the rest of society. Moreover, for the first time there is an allocation of private forest owners to social milieus, which provides a starting point for a more targeted approach. Furthermore, there is evidence that there is potential for increased activation of private forest owners for forest treatment measures, which are also accepted by a majority of the society.