Because of the fast progress of damages and the loss of genetic potential resulting from these events, measures for the preservation of forest gene resources in extremely emission damaged areas are especially important. The dying of forests in the Ore-Mountains serve as an example to explain the basics and measures of practical gene conservation. Here, the historical development of forest will be considered on the basis of the local conditions. Rough conditions in higher sites and the extensive SO2 input in the 60's have led to the dieback of thousands of hectares from the mid-70's. Forestry and forestry science responded to this by setting up crisis management programmes. These programmes show how to use genetic material that has been saved within different research approaches, and how to make this genetic material available for the present-day problems of preservation of forest gene resources.