Nature-based entrepreneurship in private forests – The ... -

Nature-based entrepreneurship in private forests – The ... -


When the forest owners were asked to describe, what the forest ownership means to them, most interviewees

referred to the economic aspects of the ownership. A forest was considered as a good long

term investment providing extra income for its owner. Particularly those forest owners with agricultural

affiliation emphasized the importance of forest ownership from the economic point of view. For them,

forest ownership was a natural part of farming constituting an essential resource for the agricultural

investments. The farm based forest owners emphasized also forest owning as a way of life, something

you have grown into and which actually constructs an important part of being a farmer.

“Kyllä se metsä tärkeä on. Että ei tätä olis pystynyt ilman metsää niin ees viljeleen. Se alkuun

lähtö olis ollut niinku mahdoton tilanne. Usein maatalous on alkuun ainakin rahoitettu

metsätalouden puolelta.” (Int. F3)

”Yes, the forest is important for me. It wouldn’t have been possible to even farm without

the forest. It would have been impossible at the beginning. Farming is often financed by

the forestry, at least in the beginning.” (Int. F3)

“Se [metsän omistaminen] on tämmönen elämäntapa. Siihen on kasvanut niin kuin se on

elämäntapa. Onhan se samalla tietysti niin kuin tulon lähdekin.” (Int. F1)

”It’s [forest owning] a kind of way of life. You have grown into it. Sure it’s a source of income

at the same time.” (Int. F1)

Previous research has stated that the importance of wood production and economics seems to be more

profound, if the forest owner has an agricultural affiliation (see e.g. Lönnstedt 1989). Because of the

small amount of the data, this argument cannot be verified or falsified in this study. Nevertheless, when

the interviewees were asked to describe the most important objectives for the usage of their forests,

the role of economic objectives was emphasized regardless the professional background of forest owners.

Thus, the identity as a forest owner was often constructed in the economic framework rather than

ecological or recreational frameworks. It should be mentioned though, that the economic objectives the

forest owners referred to were seldom solely related to the ideas of economic profits, but it can be said

that for majority of the interviewees, forest ownership was related to economic security and perishing

the inheritance. In addition to the construction of the identity, these can be also considered as fulfilling

the motives of ‘having a space’, which is also one of the main aspects of psychological ownership (see

e.g. Pierce et al. 2001). In other words, the forests were considered to provide their owners security while

being important element in the identity construction.

“Kyllä ne painottuu siihen taloudelliseen, että se on kumminkin raha on semmonen, että

se on tänä päivänä ykkösjuttuja aika monenssa asiassa. Kyllä se taloudellinen arvo, että en

mä voisi ajatella, että mä metsiä jättäisin luonnonvaraiseen tilaan, että ei niitä hoidettaisi,

että niiden antais mädäntyä sinne, että mä pidän sitä tyhmänä touhuna.” (Int. F6)

” It’s focused on the economic side because money is today a priority in quite a many

things. So [it has] economic value, I couldn’t imagine leaving forests decomposing in wild

without management. I think that would be stupid hassle.” (Int. F6)

“No niin se taloudellinen [tavoite], sanotaan nyt siinä mielessä, että ne metsät pysyis hyvinä

jälkipolvillekin, että onhan se tavallaan taloudellinen tavoite.” (Int. F16)

“You can say that keeping forests in good condition for future generations is a kind of an

economic target, too.” (Int. F16)

Although the recreational and ecological objectives were less often mentioned as the objectives of forest

ownership, they were not totally unheeded in the data. Thus, most of the interviewees thought that the

economic, recreational and ecological objectives are not exclusive, but can be into certain degree considered

simultaneously. Many of the forest owners did have some voluntary areas of protection in their forests.

These were places which had specific personal value for them, either from the viewpoint of ecology

or scenery. They also valued their forests from the recreational perspective as the forests provided them

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