Current issue: 56(4)
Under compilation: 57(1)
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.
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.
Annual variations in wood utilization makes it complicated to estimate the balance between wood utilization and wood production of forests. According to the article, the balance is unsustainable especially in the private forests in the southern part of Finland. The annual wood utilization of the country was 37.3 million m3 in 1913, and the annual wood production 35.2 million m3, according to a report of a committee that was appointed to find methods to prevent overcutting. The committee suggested legislation to forbid forest devastation. Also the growth of the forests could be increased, if the forests are well managed, the article argues. To prove this, the potential wood production capacity is estimated for the municipalities of Viipuri, Mikkeli and Kuopio, and compared to the present wood production and wood utilization of the area.
The PDF includes a German summary.