In the Swiss National Forest Inventory (NFI), the data collected in the three inventories (NFI1 1983–1985, NFI2 1993–1995, NFI3 2004–2006) provide the basis not only for analysing the present state of the forest and how it has developed up to now, but also for assessing, with the help of models, how it might develop in future. The scenario model «Massimo 3», developed at the Swiss Federal Institut for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research, is an empirical and stochastic simulation model. It relies on data from the NFI and forecasts the development of the forest according to how it is managed. Six scenarios with different management regimes were defined according to the economic, silvicultural and ecological aspects considered. In three scenarios the growing stock is kept constant at the level of NFI3, but different management strategies are used (Scenario A: basis [business as usual], Scenario E: even-aged forests are transformed into uneven-aged forests, and Scenario F: near-natural percentages of conifers are promoted). In two scenarios forest management is partially abandoned for either ecological reasons (Scenario B: reservations, 10% of the forest area is left unmanaged) or for economic reasons (Scenario C: harvesting costs, 40% of the forest area is left unmanaged). Scenario D (rotation periods are shortened) was used to study the effects of augmenting the annual harvesting amount. A forecasting time period of 100 years was selected to assess the long-term effects of the scenarios. Scenarios A, D, and E show that the sustainable harvesting potential of merchantable wood lies in a relatively narrow range of 7.1 to 7.3 million m3/year, even though in Scenario D the growing stock is reduced from 360 m3/ha to 305 m3/ha. In Scenario F regeneration is systematically established with near-natural percentages of conifers, the long-term harvesting potential is slightly less: about 6.5 million m3/year of merchantable wood. If forest management is abandoned for economic reasons on as much as 40% of the forest area (Scenario C, harvesting costs), the impact on the wood reserves is very negative.