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Why is the Swedish Government Punishing Forest Owners?

Why is the Swedish Government Punishing Forest Owners?


There needs to be a degree of cynicism to the much-admired stance on Swedish forestry that has been prevalent from outside investors. It has long been known that forestry, and the expansive industry that has come with it, has been the engine of the Swedish countryside and its prestige as a source of continuous revenue for the central government. The forest is an environmental benefit, first and foremost, that should make every thoughtful person feel humble. The recent decision by the government on key habitats is likely to be a declaration of war against the forest owners as twelve representatives of Sweden\’s top forest owners’ qualm in their worry.

While it can be argued that there’s been plenty of room for optimism in this regard, it does not whitewash the ability of the government and its authorities and their handling of forest – which has been demonstrated to be poor. Forestry is, and will continue to be the rural and bioeconomic engine. 

Contrary to the care of employment and development, the main political trail has been abandoned by forested land; the fact that the state wants to implement forest landing at the expense of forest owners, without analyzing the financial consequences for the local community, is anxiously ill-advised for Swedish forests.

Why has it become ill-managed?


The Swedish state encouraged the decommissioning of the older deciduous forest during the 20th century. Wood produce and growth was low – sometimes the amount of wood decreased because the forest was rotting and degrading. In both senses of the word. 

Forest owners were forced through legislation and with the help of cutting down the oldest and most untouched forests. The outcome of this policy still exists today. The forest grows at a rate that has never been matched; similarly, the proportion of old forest fell in parts of the country during the 1970s and 1980s. Today it is increasing again.

The concept of ‘’high natural values’’ ​​includes habitats in old and ageing forests; high natural values ​​are found in young forests, in sheltered areas and aesthetic values ​​in the forest landscape. High natural values ​​are defined by the viewer themselves. \”Key habitats\”, like many other forests, contain red-listed species, especially those contained in older forests with a lot of dead or dying trees. It is a natural habitat that also has high natural values ​​and today increases in the used forest landscape.


Today, and for hundreds of years, the forest has been of great economic value for both the local community and Sweden as a country. Significance of forestry has increased, as well as the wood storing and logging areas. Despite an increasing output from Sweden\’s forests, there have been increases in the volume of remaining trees annually, for green image purposes. The dual benefit, with increased carbon dioxide storage each year, combined with the use of wood as a replacement for finite inputs, is a type of \’\’magic\’\’ that can transform people into humble creatures.

Regarding ownership and among forest owners there have been a vast array of different goals and directions. Today, there are a lot of forest left that have passed the economic \”best-before\” date. Some natural values ​​are bound to this type of nature, and Swedish politicians should rather appreciate this than attempt to take away the owner\’s right of use of this type of forest, as has increasingly been done.

The government announced in the autumn budget plans to instruct the Swedish Forest Agency to carry out a nationwide inventory of key habitats. Such an assignment has included a plan for using the inventory results, and for how forest owners who have high natural values ​​on their fields should be replaced to preserve them. If the government chooses to ignore these key parts, it would be the closest to a declaration of war against the country\’s all forest owners – regardless of category. Signatory companies and organizations are all forest owners, and dependent on forestry being given the opportunity to operate under legal and predictable conditions.

In the state of current forest, it is the confident and fruitful interactions between the internal forestry associations such as the \’\’Nature Conservation\’\’ that can be exchanged in long-standing legal processes. There have been numerous calls to the government and the authorities to postpone the registration of key habitats and  questions about how these will be handled in the future. Similarly,  how forest owners who manage high natural values ​​will be replaced are continuing to be investigated.
Daniel Vice on Evolvera: always changing, always evolving.

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