Current issue: 54(2)
A state committee report proposing the enactment of a Forest Management Act has recently been published in Finland. The act is intended to be considerably more binding on forest owners than the present law concerning private forests which it would replace. The author assumes that the publication will raise a keen discussion that will ensue pro and contra the proposed law. The article includes a review of the first draft for a Forest Management Act prepared in the wartime winter of 1944. At that time the then minister of forestry N.A. Osara and professor Eino Saari had studied the draft. The former commented the act to the author by saying that after the return of peace the forests would have to be prepared to be restored to good condition, using radical measures if necessary. He foresaw that a proposal for the forest management law might meet with some resistance, but thought it was important enough to be forced through nevertheless. Professor Saari pointed out that bearing in mind that hardly any other country in the world is dependent upon her forests to such a decree as Finland, the requirement expressed in the draft (forests must be managed with a view to the most advantageous return as regards tree species, quality and quantity) must be considered justified. The author hopes that despite the prevailing resistance foreseen by Osara, a law will be enacted to correct the situation under the present law which tends to leave the management of our forests to the mercy of arbitrary decisions.
The Silva Fennica issue 61 was published in honour of professor Eino Saari‘s 60th birthday.
The PDF includes a summary in English.
The Private Forest Act came into force in 1928 in Finland. According to the act, felling of a mature stand should not endanger natural regeneration of the site, and an intermediate felling should not conflict with justifiable thinnings. 18 District Forestry Boards were appointed to enforce the compliance of the act. The aim of this investigation was to study what kinds of violations against the Private Forest Act were found in the fellings, what were the consequences, and how the fellings were overseen.
The investigation is based on 2,477 felling inspections made by the District Forestry Boards in cases where forest devastation was suspected. The report divides the different kinds of violations by the different District Forestry Boards, years, the size of forest holdings, ownership of the forest holdings and by executor of the felling. Over half of the inspections were held on fellings done by the forest owner, 14% by the forest industry, and 11% by a broker of timber. Neglecting the obligation to give a notification of felling had increased in the period of 1929-1938. Also, the cases of forest devastation increased slightly. The report suggests some improvements in the act that would, for instance, increase activity of the forest owners to give the required notification of fellings before the felling takes place.
The PDF includes a summary in German.
The state of Finland controls the private forestry by legislation and by promoting forest management. The initial reason for regulating the private forestry in the 1600s was to prevent forest devastation and the decrease of the forest resources in the country. The Private Forest Act came into effect in 1929. It required that regeneration of the forest is cared for after fellings and that an announcement is given of planned fellings. There are several organizations to promote private forestry and advice the private forest owners, for instance, District Forest Boards, Central Forestry Association Tapio and the Forest Management Associations. It is concluded that the Private Forest Act and the organizations have fulfilled their objectives.
Silva Fennica Issue 92 includes presentations held in 1956 in the 8th professional development courses, arranged for forest officers working in the Forest Service. The presentations focus on practical issues in forest management and administration, especially in regional level. The education was arranged by Forest Service.
Fellings of valuable timber in the forests to be surrendered for settlement farms have been discussed widely in Finland. This presentation describes the effects of the new section in the Land Settlement Decree and new directions given by Central Forestry Association Tapio based on the decree. According to the directions, the fellings have to follow legislation concerning other fellings in private forests. The felling of all large, valuable timber, as has previously been the custom in settlement farm forests, does not follow this principle.
Silva Fennica issue 46 includes presentations held in professional development courses, arranged for foresters working in public administration in 1937. The presentations focus on practical issues in forest management and administration, especially in regional level. The education was arranged by Forest Service.
This presentation describes how criminal law affects the use of forests.
The government of Finland appointed a commission to study how the work of forest owners’ associations could be promoted. In 1936 there was 232 forest owners’ associations in Finland. They had 20,632 members, who owned 1,841,304 hectares of forests. The owners of large forest holdings were overpresented among the members. The associations together with forestry boards were important actors in increasing the productivity of the private forests.
The commission concluded that rational forest management should be extended to all private forests, which could be best achieved through the forest owners’ associations. It suggested that the membership should remain voluntary, and that the financing of the associations would be arranged by self-taxation of the forest owners. The so called forest management tax should be devoted to the local forest owners’ associations. Also the state should continue to support the associations. Both state and the smallest forest holdings would be released from the forest management tax. The companies, estates and other large forest owners that employ their own forest management staff would pay a quarter of the tax. The tax could be based on the area of the forest, income of the timber sold or a combination of these. The commission suggested a forest management law, which would deal with the forest management tax and the forest owners’ associations.
The PDF includes a summary in Swedish and English.