This paper presents a case study of a topographical scale analysis - known as "Consegne dei Boschi" - contrasted with fieldwork observations on the historical ecology of the area under study. The "Consegne" were produced by the Forestry Administration of the Kingdom of Sardinia between 1821 and 1822. Every landowner of the Upper Aveto Valley Parishes had to describe their woodlands at the local judge's desk. The tree cover of the area appears to have been activated by a number of local practices brought about by the multiple land use system. Woodland composition, local land use taxonomy and productions were classified in order to detect the agro-sylvo-pastoral system based on "Alnus incana" management. The system that we refer to as "alnoculture" completely disappeared in this valley at the beginning of twentieth century but its environmental issue continues to incite the ecological awareness of the present Alder population.