The article explores the forest ecology of the Municipality of Terracina, in the Pontine Region, from the Unification to the beginning of the 20th century and highlights the critical administrative issues and the potentials concerning the management of commons. This analysis looks at the forest through the lens of social and institutional conflict, which shows the discrepancy between the national legislative agenda and local governance, questions the correspondence between environmental and social marginalities, politicises the development of the forest area. This case-study is of particular interest because of the vast area of land at that time under customary and communal tenure; the late appearance of widespread phenomena connected to forests and the late development of reclamation plans; the impact of the hygienic constraint set by the 1877 Forest Act. The article contestualises and investigates the role of wooded commons from an environmental history perspective and relies on administrative records and existing scholarly literature on common lands and forest issue in Central Italy.
Keywords: Forest, Collective Rights, Municipal Administration, Lazio, 19th century, Terracina.