Abstract: The aim of this work is on one side to implement a GIS methodology to create maps of forests with particular protective function (bpfp), standardizing and accelerating a procedure that in other countries is carried out manually, and on the other side to furnish new information to define in detail the types of risk useful for forest planning and management, in order to supply the lack of a specific normative and knowledge in Italy. Forests with particular protective function are those forests that directly protect human life and material goods of high value (objects like houses, roads, public infrastructures etc.). The research has been carried out in Val di Pejo, an area located in central-east Alps, in Trentino (North Italy), particularly subjected to avalanche, falling rocks, landslide and debris flow risk. To locate the forests with a real particular protective function, a classification of the objects in order of importance has been determined, and a fine geomorphological analysis of the slopes where the forests are placed has been carried out, this procedure also involving on-site inspections and consultation of forest technicians and experts. The comparison between bpfp and forests normally classified with protective function in the tradictional management plans has highlighted the need to reconsider the concept of forest protection. The method has permitted to obtain a quick delimitation of bpfp, with a procedure that can be exported and adapted to other different situations. In particular, with the aid of GRASS, detailed maps that distinguish bpfp depending on different criteria have been obtained; these maps can be useful either for forest planning at a landscape level or in order to make easier to program the sylvicultural interventions at a local scale.
Forest protective function,