I boschi alpini del Settecento come “exemplum” dei fenomeni ambientali contemporanei

The alpine forests of the 18th century as an example of contemporary environmental phenomena

The author discusses the concept of “natural environment spatialization” referring to the 18th century Western Alps context. Under the Savoy dynasty, resources began to play a means-ends function, becoming commodities to be extracted and turned into profit according to the Enlightenment’s idea of forest as economic resource, thus losing its role of habitat. The state’s necessity to manage these territories led to the birth of a new legislation that not only did regulate exploitation but also catalogued everything that could constitute an income for the state, e.g., fields, woods, and mines. Such interpretation of nature have characterized the mountain environment of the following centuries, up to the present day. Nowadays, due to the global crisis, the hitherto localized extractions are being stimulated again through a phenomenon of new internal extractive practices that mainly apply to the Alpine territory, and in which forests and minerals are the main resources.