Current issue: 56(4)
The earliest local records of lack of timber in Finland are from the 1600th century when Finland belonged to Sweden. The causes vary from burning of tar and shifting cultivation to local factories using fuel wood. Best preserved were forests in Lapland and Kainuu in Northern Finland and those parts of Karelia where shifting cultivation was not practiced. Especially harmful was shifting cultivation, because it made it impossible to grow valuable timber. The state did not intervene in the use of forests until it itself began to need more wood. Shipbuilding was the first cause to limit the use of wood, especially need of mast trees of pine and oak. Also the use of timber by private sawmills began to raise general concern in the 16th century. They influenced the decrease of forests in the 1800th century, due to the limited wood procurement areas and selection felling of timber trees. The establishment of sawmills became regulated in 1700th century. Collective forest ownership by the farms was seen at the time one of the reasons to forest devastation. In 1654 the state of Sweden forbade the burning of mast or in timber forests. Mining industry needed much fuel wood, and shifting cultivation was forbidden near the mines in 1734. Regulations and instructions were also on given on use of wood, for instance, in building, in fences, leaf fodder, fuel wood and tar burning.
Despite of many efforts, the government of Sweden could not prevent devastation of forests in Finland. The many wars of the state hindered economic growth, the regulations were sporadic and often difficult to apply, there was little supervision, the understanding of forestry was poor, and the remote Finland was often neglected in Sweden.The PDF includes a summary in German.