Especially before the 19th century, forestry was instrumental in the drainage of the moors. In the Reitzenhain District alone, 530 ha of high moors were drained in the interest of forestation by 1850.
Forest rangers aimed to make inhospitable and unproductive areas on the ridge of the Ore Mountains usable for forestry. This procedure only achieved mild success,however, since even though the moor areas were increasingly drying up, it was very difficult to dig the ditches.
These locations also were not especially suitable for the cultivation of timber; they were low in nutrients and, worst of all, very acidic.