Current issue: 54(2)
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 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.