Current issue: 56(2)
Under compilation: 56(3)
The shared forests of the villages were generally parceled out to farms in the general parceling out of land (isojako) in Finland, that begun in 1775. The state established also jointly owned forests, mostly in the beginning of 2000th century when land was donated for landless population. Some have been established voluntarily. Act on Jointly Owned Forests was enacted in 1925 to ensure proper management of the forests. It contains instructions of administration of the forests.
A survey was conducted to study the conditions of the jointly owned forests. The forests, a total of 37,843 ha, are distributed evenly over the country. Average size of settlement jointly owned forests in Southern Finland are 314 ha, initial jointly owned forests in Southern Finland 1,726 ha, settlement joined forests in the county of Oulu in Northern Finland 592 ha, and initial joined forests in Northern Finland 1,268 ha. The forest lands are poorer than in other private forests. The most common age class is 41-80 years in Southern Finland and 61-120 years in the north. The forests resources were larger in the initial joined forests than in the settlement joined forests when the joined forests were established. In settlement joined forests fellings were smaller than the increment, while in initial joined forests fellings were slightly larger than the increment. Joined forests have given the owners rather good and regular income, which has probably been larger than if the forests had been managed as farm forests. Joined forests have, therefore, met their objectives.The PDF includes a summary in German.
The article is a review on the lands that were donated to the Russian aristocracy in Eastern and Southeastern Finland in 1700s. The farmers in the area used to be tenants of state lands or independent land owners. The insufficient and diverse stipulation of the ownership of the lands in the donation documents caused later disputes between the landlords and the farmers. One of the issues was who had right to use the forests. For the farmers this meant significant reductions in their right to harvest timber and household wood, or practice shifting cultivation. There were attempts to improve the situation of the tenants, but the final solution came in the end of 1800s, when the parliament began to promote farmers’ right to purchase the lands. In the land reform, the state raised a loan to purchase the donated lands, and give them to the farmers, who would then pay back their share of the loan. Part of the forests remained state lands in the reform. Several jointly owned forests were also established using the state forests to give access to household wood for farms that had little own forests. The private forests on donated lands had larger standing crop than the private forests in general. Together with increasing demand of wood for the developing manufacturing industry, this gave possibility for abusive practices in timber trade. The timber prices were low, and farmers exchanged felling rights to loan.