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.