Current issue: 52(3)
The article is a review on state forests of Finland. The aim of the review is to describe the state and management of the state forests. Low revenue of the stat forests has been criticised, and misunderstandings have led to economic policy that has had negative impacts on state forestry.
The history of forest ownership of the state begins from 1400th century when Finland was part of Sweden. The article describes in detail the different stages in ownership of state forests and development of forest administration.
Forest Service was established in 1859. In 1949 it had two departments, a private forest department and a state forest department, and four local conservancies, Peräpohjola, Ostrobothnia, Western Finland and Eastern Finland. The forests were managed according to a business plan, which was based on a forest survey and a long term silvicultural working plan. The business plan gave a basis for annual working plans.
The state forests are mainly situated far from sites of forest industry and large human settlements. This affects demand and prices of wood. Especially demand of small diameter timber has been low. Floating is the main means of transport of the timber. The article describes in detail the forest resources of state forests, forest management practices and changes in state forestry. Suggestions to improve the profitability of state forestry are given. These include, for instance improving transport infrastructure and the productivity of forestry.