Current issue: 56(2)
Forest policy can be traced several hundred years back in Sweden. One of the early restrictions was related to iron industry, which was dependent on supply of charcoal. This led in the 17th century to the regulation of the industry in order to fit its capacity to the sustained yield of the forests. Also the early sawmill industry was kept under supervision in the mining districts in order not to compete with the iron industry of the forests resources.
In 1903 the fears of shortage of wood, caused by a few decades of unrestricted use of forests and the rise of pulp and paper industries, resulted in the first forest law (enacted in 1905). The leading principle of the law was that the owner of the forest had to secure reforestation after felling. When previously the regulation had limited the fellings within the sustainable yield of the forests, the new law aimed at promoting the productive capacity of the forests. New felling methods were developed and the new practices were spread to the forest owners with help of education, propaganda and giving advice. One important factor in the success of the forest law was founding of County forestry boards, which are the main agencies to materialize the constructive ideas of the new forest policy.
The First National Forest Survey was conducted in 1923-29, followed by the second in 1938, and third in 1954. A new forest law came into force in 1923, which prohibited the cutting of immature forests in other ways than by thinning. In 1948, new amendments of the law were introduced, which, for instance allowed the forest owner to put part of the income derived from the timber sales into a bank account to be later used in reforestation.
The Silva Fennica issue 61 was published in honour of professor Eino Saari‘s 60th birthday.