Montes de Socios (Membership Forests): recovering the ancient history of pro-indivisive forests


Project aiming to recover community lands in Spain that are abandoned by contacting to the legitimate owners and constituting new management boards. "Membership Forests" have an origin back in the XIX century as a result of local purchase of forests set to bid by the Spanish Government. These forests were bought as pro-indivisive by the local families and businesses, everyne. In 2010 these forests were completely abandoned and the heirs of the buyers absolutely disconnected from them. The innovation has been in creating a model partenrship, later legally designated, "Montes de Socios" to recover ownership, sense of place and capacity of management. Once the ownership board is created the forest can start management and conservation activities to increase its natural capital value.

Networking, Services delivery, Assistance & Advice, Information, Plans / Proposals
Boards, individual owners, Ministry of Rural Development, Regional Governments of Aragón, Asturias, Castilla-La Mancha, Castilla y León; and Diputación of Soria

Positive impacts related to the recovery of these forests, the creation of Forest Boards of Owners, and the celebration and working use of them. The project tries to configure board management meetings than can serve as an example for other community lands. • Creation of a National Working Group on Community Forestry Properties. • In the first two years of the project, the number of "Juntas gestoras" duplicated reaching 46: 25 in Soria, 2 in Asturias, 1 in León and 2 in Guadalajara. Nowadays there are more than 50 boards. • Important media impact highlighting the situation of these kinds of mountains and their role to rural development in Spain

• Medrano Peña, PA; Marín Guitíerrez, A; & Gracia Jiménez, P (2013) Montes de socios, un ejemplo de gestión forestal al servicio del desarrollo rural. Ambienta, 104, pp102-113. Madrid. Ministerio de Medio Ambiente • Rico, J. (2013) Proyecto piloto montes de socios. Trabajo en común para recuperar tierras comunales. Desarrollo rural y sostenible, 17, pp 12-14. Madrid • Dossier informativo

* Information at the level of NUTS 3 or local regions.