This essay questions the increasing call for broad conservation strategies to sustain and support biodiversity in the Swiss forest. Three arguments build the basis for this discussion: 1) Forests, together with the alpine mountain zones, represent the most extensive ecosystems in Switzerland. As a consequence of the continuous expansion of the forest area, biodiversity of forest organisms is not generally at risk. 2) Endangered species are less frequent in mountain forests than in lowland forests. 3) Populations of different species groups have been subjected to large, natural fluctuations over the last 3000 years. The biodiverse forest model, which is aspired today, resembles more an intensively or even overused forest of former times than a natural or even pristine forest. I conclude that future forest management should focus on the preservation of natural processes rather than biodiversity. Since Switzerland lacks large contiguous zones of natural forests, existing incentives should be more effectively used to achieve this goal.

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