In the middle of the 19th century, the Brusquet Basin was almost entirely bare. The abudance of pre-alpine trees (oaks, sumacs and boxwoods) characteristic of the southern pre-Alps had gradually disappeared from the black soil that makes up most of the area.
By the end of the century, 87 hectares had been planted, 60% of which were planted with Austrian Black Pine trees, the rest with Scots Pine and various other species: maples, oaks and beeches.
This decisive action by the Department of Water & Forestry was intended to combat erosion, especially due to gullying, ravine erosion.
At the same time, in the heart of the basin-valley, a tree-nursery was set up to provide the young plants necessary for the reforestation of the mountains around Digne. Around the tree-nursery, numerous species were planted on an experimental basis. Today it is a forest park, a pleasant place for walks and outdoor concerts.
Today, the IRSTEA (The National Institute for Scientific & Technological Research for the Environment and Agriculture), a research organisation of the Ministry of Agriculture & Forestry - is studying the action of erosion in the black geological-marl of wooded land by comparing the data collected with those obtained in Draix on non-wooded land.