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Research article2024Peer reviewedOpen access

Non-industrial Private Forest Owners' Knowledge and Forest Management Preferences Regarding Forest Damage in Northern Sweden

Kronholm, Thomas

Abstract

In northern Sweden, large forest areas are affected by extensive damage caused by moose, fungi, beetle and other biological pests. For non-industrial private forest (NIPF) owners this leads to large losses of value, not only in economic terms but also in the form of loss of biodiversity and amenity values. Therefore, several research projects are underway to develop new silvicultural methods and other measures to reduce damage. However, a successful implementation of these will often depend on the willingness and knowledge of the forest owners. The objective of this study was, therefore, to elucidate NIPF owners' knowledge about forest damage and their preferences regarding forest management alternatives that potentially could mitigate the damage situation. Data were collected through a questionnaire that was distributed to a random sample of 1,177 NIPF owners in northern Sweden, and the response rate was 31% (n = 368). The results show that 19% of the NIPF owners did not know the current damage situation in their own forest. In addition, NIPF owners judged that their knowledge to identify damage themselves is quite limited, except for damage caused by moose. Regarding future management options, many were positive towards avoiding clear-cuts in suitable areas, while many were negative towards implementing alternative tree species such as larch and lodgepole pine. The study concludes that there is a clear need to inform and educate NIPF owners about forest damage, but also that there will be challenges in reaching all types of owners.

Keywords

Family forest owners; Attitudes; Opinions; Moose; Pests

Published in

Small-Scale Forestry
2024, Volume: 23, number: 1, pages: 85–108 Publisher: SPRINGER

    Associated SLU-program

    SLU Plant Protection Network
    SLU Forest Damage Center

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG15 Life on land

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Forest Science

    Publication identifier

    DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11842-023-09555-x

    Permanent link to this page (URI)

    https://res.slu.se/id/publ/126886