Current issue: 55(4)
Under compilation: 55(5)
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.
A Committee was appointed in 1946 by the government of Finland to draw a draft to substitute the 1928 Law on Private Forests. The article is a report of the committee, and gives a suggestion to a new Forest Management Law and Forest Management Decree.
The aim of the 1928 law was to prevent devastating fellings. The committee introduces a new concept, duty to tend forests in accord with the principle of progressive forestry. This principle is drafted in the first paragraph of the law: Forest should be so tended, protected and used that, as far as possible, the productive capacity of the soil will be fully utilized and economically profitable, and increasing yield secured.
The proposal also includes measures to prevent devastation, the concept of which has been changed from the previous law. For instance, a cutting which is in disproportion to the growing stock of the forestry holding is considered devastation. Responsibility for the measures to secure regeneration after felling rests with the forest owner if the felling has been carried out in line with sound silvicultural practice. The district forestry boards are suggested to be the organizations that supervise the observance of the law.
The article includes a summary in English.