Current issue: 54(4)
Under compilation: 54(5)
Forests have been economically important for Finnish private forest owners at all times, but the use of forests has changed markedly since 1920s, when forests were mainly used for collecting household timber, and the cuttings were often exploitative because of the farmer’s need for money. The present situation is totally different. Need for household timber is marginally small, and private forestry produces mainly timber for sale. The sales of timber have increased, but due to better forest management the growing stock in the private forests has increased. The article discusses how the changes in values of forest owners has and will affect the stage of private forestry.
According to universal primitive beliefs, there was a huge pole or tree in the centre of the universe to support the sky. These beliefs gave rise to innumerable customs where both trees and wood have been used to promote health and good luck. Even today, many such customs exist: the Christmas tree, maypole, Midsummer birches, birch whisks in the Finnish sauna, ritual tree plantings etc. In addition to the tree, also the forest as both a protecting and a frightening maternal symbol can be considered as an archetype. Intensive forestry diminishes the archetypal contents of forests, which may be one reason behind critical attitudes towards modern forestry.
The paper is based on a lecture given in the seminar ‘The forest as a Finnish cultural entity’, held in Helsinki in 1986. The PDF includes a summary in English.
The landscape preferences and attitudes of inhabitants of Puolanka, north-eastern Finland, to the effects of silvicultural practice on the forest landscape were studied by a postal inquiry. The effect of silvicultural practice on the forest landscape was mainly negative. Birch (Betula sp.) stands and mixed coniferous and deciduous tree species were the most preferred by the Puolanka inhabitants. The landscape preferences were related to socio-economic background of the inhabitants. The quality of the living environment also influenced the preferences, since uncommon features in the living environment were favoured most.
The PDF includes a summary in English.
The purpose of forestry has hitherto been seen mainly as economic conservation, i.e. the use and management of timber resources on a sustainable yield basis. Along with the rising standard of living, however, amenity values of the environment will become more appreciated, which means that forestry and forest industries will be concerned with conservation of immaterial resources of nature as well. Since inland lakes cover some 10% of the surface area of Finland, and forests occupy more than 70% of the land area, forests and lakes are essential constituents of the Finnish environment during both work and leisure.
The main task of the pulp and paper industry in conservation is the control of water pollution. Today some 10% of Finnish lakes are polluted. Pulp and paper industries contribute 75% of the total waste water load of the Finnish lakes. Increasing water pollution can be prevented by improved processing technology, waste water treatment, and economic use of industrial wastes. Thus, the waste water load of the lakes has not increased in the last 10 years, despite doubling of pulp and paper production. According to the prognoses, by the year 2000 the waste water load from pulp and paper industries will be reduced to one half or one fourth of the present level although the capacity will still be increasing.
In forest management more emphasis should be paid on the aesthetic and recreational values of forests. Along with increasing leisure the need for recreational areas is growing. Scenic and recreational aspects must be considered in the management of industrial forests, too. With wise management, high timber yield is compatible with the maintenance of an enjoyable environment. Good silviculture takes account of timber production, wildlife management and landscape architecture simultaneously. National forestry development programs must be based on the principle of the multiple use of forests.
The PDF includes a summary in English.