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The purpose of this study is to investigate the differences in value priorities between Finnish forest owners and the general public. A conclusion is drawn whether and to what extent value changes in society are reflected in forest owners’ values and objectives, and, finally, in their actual forestry behavior. In addition, the study highlights the differences in value priorities among forest owners in various demographic groups. The data set used in this study was based on a nationwide mail survey on Finnish non-industrial private forest owners conducted in 2009 and consisting of 2116 observations of forest owners. Schwartz’s value theory was a good fit for testing the value priorities of forest owners. The three most important values were benevolence, security and conformity, both among the forest owners and the public. Tradition was ranked the fourth most important value by the forest owners, but very low by the public. The forest owners ranked universalism slightly lower than the public in general. This difference was clearly greater when the female forest owners were compared to women in the whole population. The probability of a forest owner belonging to the Softies (high emphasis on universalism and benevolence) increased with age and was higher for the female owners and the owners with recreational or multiple objectives compared to the indifferent owners. The multiobjective owners and recreationists had relatively similar value profiles. The previous literature suggests that multiobjective owners are the most active forest owner group and that recreationists and indifferent owners are the most passive groups in their timber supply behavior. The relationship between values and forestry behavior thus remains ambiguous.
Department of Forest Sciences, P.O. Box 27, FI-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland
Kämnerintie 7e 41, FI-00750 Helsinki, Finland