The majority of forest owners value the profitability of forestry. This is why they favour prevailing forest management methods, which produce a lot of wood for markets and processing. Owners also use different methods to reconcile the commercial utilisation of forests with other values in different parts of their forest estates.
For some owners, the yield of a forest is not the most central object – not in all parts of their forest holdings, at least. Alternative, researched methods, which also result in the production of wood for processing, are needed for such forest owners.
However, the introduction of new forest management methods must not lead to the proliferation of low-yielding forests. If profitability of forestry yields is low, forest regeneration slows down. This would mean that Finland could in future avail of less abundant forest resources.
Finnish forests are managed appropriately, and current forestry methods and their effects are well researched. This affects positively the growth of Finnish forest resources, which constantly exceeds utilisation. To support their decision-making with regard to the adoption of new methods, forest owners should be provided with more information on the effects, advantages and risks of fresh alternatives. For example, estimating the cost of different timber harvesting methods and how the sizing of felling sites affects the price of timber is in need of further studies and empirical knowledge.
Increasing the supply and marketing of forestry services would be a good way to improve forest management. In recent years, the management of young stands has stayed behind from the good level reached by recent generations. A lot more work is needed in the tending of seedling stands.
Demand for domestic wood will increase over the long term as wood consumption increases. More and more forest biomass, which is collected in conjunction with the harvesting of industrial timber, will be needed for energy utilisation as well.
Antti Otsamo, Manager (Forestry Issues), Finnish Forest Industries Federation, tel. +358 9 132 6679 or +358 40 719 7734