Current issue: 55(2)
The purpose of this paper is to discuss the effect that the various measures by society have on bringing the level of the annual cut by private woodlot owners in line with the forestry policy goal of a long-term sustained yield of wood. The objectives and measures of forest policy in Sweden are described, as well as the central relations which explain the development in the logging policies of the private woodlot owners.
The goal of Swedish forestry policy has long been to safeguard a sustained yield of wood. This demand has successively been tightened, defined and detailed. The principle measure employed by the authorities to obtain the goal has been silvicultural legislation.
The author summarises that of all the means available of influencing the logging policy of private woodlot owners the most effective is silvicultural legislation. However, when viewed in an historical perspective, the legislation has not been able to significantly regulate the level of the annual cut. Nevertheless, at a time when there is a shortage of wood materials the legislation will undoubtedly exert a greater influence. Changes in forest taxation could prove to be an effective means in future of, for example, achieving an increase in the annual cut of private woodlot owners.
In dealing with the effectiveness of forest taxation reform as a means of economic policy, the paper starts by recalling certain objectives of taxation, as well as the effect on aggregate demand of taxation in general. The effect of forest taxation depends on such factors as (1) whether the woodland owner has a regular income from a source other than forestry; (2) the system of taxation (whether taxation of actual stumpage revenue or of area-based yield); (3) the progression of taxation; and (4) the woodland owner’s income level.
The problem is illustrated by an example taken from Finland, where forestry revenue is taxed on the basis of area-based yield. A shift to taxation of actual stumpage revenue, as is proposed, is assumed. The effectiveness of this change is studied in terms of how far the assumed change is consistent with the objectives of the national economy. It is assumed that a shift to taxation of actual stumpage revenue would cause a decline in roundwood supply. A sensitivity analysis is then applied to detect the effect on tax revenue and national income of the tax reform. It is likely that a 10% decrease in fellings would bring about a reduction of tax revenue which would not be compensated for by the more perfect exposure of forestry income to taxation brought by the reform. The effect on investment, production, employment, differences in individual and regional income, and on the international balance of payments also disfavour the suggested change.
The paper discusses certain aspects of the capital management of forest assets. These aspects are of importance when one wants to consider what means to use to influence the capital management on both small and big forest properties. When quantifying the effects of different uses of capital, one must necessarily have a scale. The rate of return is for this purpose the usual measure of profitability. We will first discuss the differences between nominal and real rate of return, and point out the assumptions which are often implicit in analyses of the profitability of investments in forestry. We will the discuss certain liquidity and risk aspects of capital investments in forestry, and at the end deal with certain consequences of taxation.
Private forestry in the Federal Republic of Germany mainly consists of small holdings. Out of 534,000 proprietors 97% own 0.01–10.0 ha. This category covers 45% (1.4 million ha) of private woodlands in total. During the last decades cooperation has increased so that now about 50% of the small woodland is managed by voluntary cooperatives. The main aim of the cooperatives is the improvement of management by trying to overcome the disadvantages arising from small size, unfavourable location and splitting up, as well as from insufficient accessibility and other structural difficulties.
An economic analysis of forestry cooperatives was conducted by using a combination of model calculations and field investigations of 20 forestry cooperatives which represented different types of cooperation in all regions of the country. The theoretical calculations showed the amplitude of efficiency improvement in small holdings by means of cooperation. It was shown that there were relatively poor results in the beginning and success could be achieved only in the long-term view by improving quality of stands. According to the analysis of the 20 cooperatives, the possible annual cutting rate was 4.1 m3/ha, but the actual cutting rate reached only 3.7 m3/ha. Aims of the cooperatives manly concerned coordination of production, mechanization, material acquisition and timber sales. The subsidization of forestry cooperatives proved, in general, to be insufficient. A discussion of different ways of subsidization showed that from the microeconomic point of view direct product subsidies of timber production may be more favourable than area-based grants.
In Japan, there are 2,990,000 forest owners within the scope of Forest Cooperatives, 60% of which are members of forest cooperatives. These are the largest functional organizations concerning private forests in Japan. The majority of members are small woodland owners with less than 20 ha per person, and 90% of the members are of agricultural cooperatives. The variety of memberships makes it difficult for cooperatives to strengthen its solidarity. The article describes the legislation concerning cooperatives in Japan, characteristics of business, reforestation and logging made by the forest cooperatives, and reorganization of the forest workers of the cooperatives.
Steady expansion of the main activities of the Forest Cooperatives, i.e. logging, marketing and reforestation, has been seen during the past 20 years. Logging and marketing have been taken over from the timber-dealers, and reforestation has been expanded by the Forest Cooperatives on the members’ behalf.
A study to determine the effectiveness of private forestry assistance programs in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia in Canada was conducted among three complementary groups of individuals concerned with the private forest resource. Rural residents, members of woodlot owner associations and extension foresters in the four provinces were surveyed using three different, bilingual questionnaires. The majority of rural residences do not use forestry assistance programs. 45% of the woodlot association members responding used one or more of the several available programs. 54% of these users had a high regard for the assistance provided. Extension foresters felt that the objectives of their respective assistance programs were being met with available resources but performance could be bettered with more staff, increased budgets and an improvement in communications. This was a first attempt to evaluate private forestry assistance programs in a Canadian context
The purpose of the present study is to explore the applicability of some methodological approaches to empirical policy analysis in evaluating the effectiveness of public forest policy. From the perspective of effectiveness analysis we can distinguish in forest policy, aiming at the promotion of timber production, two principal objective levels in forestry: the quantity of silvicultural investments and their allocation and the quantity (sufficiency) together with the structure of timber supply. This paper is restricted to the exploration of the effect of forest policy measures directed to silvicultural investments in private forestry. First, the effects of state subsidies in silvicultural investments are analysed. The analysis is macro analysis of quantitative forest policy means, in which aggregated time series data are used as study material. Second, an attempt is made to provide a causal interpretation of the impacts of qualitative forest policy means at the woodlot level. This micro analysis utilizes an approach characteristic to the behavioural sciences.
It is concluded that like quantitative forest policy means the qualitative means, coupled with the activities of the forest promotion organizations, play a significant role in attaining the timber production goals. Of these, the professional advice given by forestry experts, has a direct effect on silvicultural activities. Extension and training activities have an indirect effect by increasing the willingness of forest owners to employ experts on their woodlots.
The need for the planning and analysing of public policy has increased in economic and social policy, along with the expansion of the public sector, i.e. as the number of aims of the policy has increased and the objects of it have become more versatile, the objects of allocation have likewise been multiplied. In addition, the significance of planning a public forest policy has been emphasized by many economic and social changes in forestry and the timber economy.
The purpose of the present paper is to outline a general frame of reference for empirical policy analysis, upon which the effectiveness analysis of forest policy is also based. The approach serves as a methodological frame for the empirical analysis, presented in the following paper of this issue of Silva Fennica, in which econometric methods are applied to the examination of the effect of public forest policy.
Research concerning the forest owners’ behaviour plays an important role in the evaluation of the effectiveness of forest policy on small woodlots. This is because the effects of forest policy measures on forestry are indirect and channelled through the behaviour of a forest owner. In this paper some basic concepts and methodological problems of forest owner studies are discussed. First, the concepts ’forest owner’ and ’forestry behaviour’ are defined on the basis of general sociological term, social role. Second, the problem of explanation and the selection of the explanatory model in forest owner studies is discussed. In this connection the heuristic nature of the selection of the explanatory model is underlined. It is pointed out that the proper explanatory mode in forest owner studies is decisively dependent on the objectives of the study or on the kind of information that will be obtained by the study. In such studies that intend to serve the planning and implementation of forest policy, it seems necessary to aim at causal explanations, and to analyse the general determinants and factors that can be manipulated in forest owners’ behaviour.
This collection of nine articles considers theoretical and methodological aspects as well as empirical research problems associated with the elevation of the effectiveness of forest policy measures on small woodlands. The papers presented concern aspects of research strategy in studying forest owner’s behaviour (Järveläinen) and causality as a conceptual frame for forest policy analysis (Tikkanen); an econometric analysis on the effects of public forest policy in Finland (Tikkanen); a survey concerning the private forest owners and the forestry assistance program in Eastern Canada (Madigan and Jones); the forestry co-operative as a policy measure (Tanaka) and the subsidies and efficiency in forestry co-operatives (Brabänder); the forest as a capital asset (Eid) and effectiveness of forest taxation reform as a means of economic policy (Riihinen); and the influence of Swedish forestry policy on the annual cut of private woodlot owners (Lönnstedt).
The PDF includes a summary in Finnish.
Downy birch (Betula pubescens Ehrh.) trees growing on a drained peatland were cut during dormancy. The properties of the one-year old shoots produced by the stumps were measured in the autumn after one growing season. The one-year old willow shoots (a mixture of Salix phylicifolia L., S. pentandra L. and S. caprea L.) were collected from an abandoned field.
The basic density of unbarked shoots was 443 kg/m3 for birch and 346 kg/m3 for willow. The basic density of the bark was much higher than that of the wood. The effect of shoot length on the properties was small with the exception of cellular proportions. The fibre percentage increased and vessel percentage decreased with increasing shoot length.
The PDF includes a summary in Finnish.
Length variation of fibres and vessels was studied in the branches, stems and roots of Betula pendula Roth and B. pubescense Ehrh. The cells were significantly shorter in the branches and roots than in the stems. There was no significant difference in the cell length between the upper and lower radii of the branches and roots. The length increased from the pith to the surface and decreased in the branches and stems from the base onwards. In the roots the length increased in that direction. The differences between the tree species were small although the cells of B. pubescens were a little longer.
The PDF includes a summary in Finnish.
Variation of cellular proportion within the same growth rings counted from the pith of the stems and branches in four trees of Betula pendula Roth was studied. The fibre percentage decreased from breast height to the crown and then increased in the branches. The reverse trend was found in the percentage of vessels and parenchyma, although the latter varied relatively little. No statistically significant differences were found in the percentages of fibres, vessels and rays within the same growth rings counted from the pith between the stems and branches. In both the stem and the branches, the proportion of fibres increased and that of vessels and rays decreased from the pith to the surface. Even crown formed wood differed from that of stem formed.
The PDF includes a summary in Finnish.