Cultural heritage and biodiversity in the present forest management of the boreal zone in Scandinavia
Parviainen, Jari (2015)
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Journal of forest research
Almost all the boreal forests in the Scandinavian peninsula have been influenced by human societies, and, therefore, natural, original forests are very rare. In this article, the interaction between the old traditional forest uses and the present management practices are analysed and discussed. Historical uncontrolled use, slash-and-burn agriculture and overexploitation of forests for saw milling industry led to the establishment of regulations, forest acts, forestry education and forest management plans to prevent devastation during the 19th century. The various uses of forests include their direct land use, preservation of landscapes, building of forest structures, historical sites, human recreation (i.e., establishing mental relationships between people and the forest), forest settlements and rural development. Current boreal forest management is based on a multifunctional approach as applied by a "close-to-nature" management style. This management style is premised upon the notion that "everyman's right" allows them to freely roam the forest on foot or by bicycle and enjoy activities such as pick berries and mushrooms in the forests. Currently being discussed are new approaches regarding commercial use of ecosystems on private land as it relates to the "everyman's right" to enjoy the forest. Within the context of the modern lifestyle, forests help people recover from stress and provide physical inactivity. Research efforts are underway to find bioactive components in the forest for medical products. While the forests are mainly owned by private entities and families, the challenges of the future will be the lack of management, in the means how to reach the owners and how to motivate them.
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