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

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

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The feeling of control, not only legal based control, was probably the most visible aspect of psychological

ownership. It was related to most of the forest owner’s comments concerning the use of their forests as

well as the co-operation with the other users of the forests. Therefore, it is vitally important to consider

this aspect of psychological ownership in forest owner stakeholder management.

Practical level aspects to respect the forest owners’ psychological

ownership

The experience of different aspects of psychological ownership is often linked together and mixed in several

practical issues through which the motives of self-identity, control and ”having a space” are realized

in the co-operation. Therefore, the psychological ownership was also studied through the forest owners’

opinions, concerning, how their ownership should be respected in co-operation relationships with

nature-based tourism entrepreneurs. Especially control and identity aspects were highlighted among the

forest owners. The forest owners felt that they should have the highest authority regarding to their forest

areas, and they wanted this authority to be respected in some way, even when activities would happen

within free access or Everyman’s Rights. They saw, that they have the right to set individual limits to the

use of their forests as they please according to their own aspirations and values, like nature conservation

and dislike towards the motor vehicles in the nature. This indicated strongly on existence of the control

aspect of the psychological ownership, as well as brought out the influence of the identity of forest

owners, who they are and what values do they have, on which they base their decisions on the use of

their forest areas. Any violations against this authority were seen as an insult against the ownership and

caused negative attitude towards nature-based tourism in general, as well as could lead to the termination

of the co-operation.

Based on the analysis of the empirical data, seven different practical level themes, through which the forest

owner’s psychological ownership should be taken into consideration were found. Some of them are

related to both objective and psychological ownership, since they support each other and it is impossible

fully distinguish them (Rogers and Pierce 2004).

Avoiding any damage

The majority of interviewed forest owners highly emphasized the economic value of the forest as an

important source of income and a provider of financial security. For this reason, economic loss in forest

value was regarded as a major concern, when establishing a relationship with a nature-based entrepreneur.

At the worst scenario, major economic losses for the forest owners could be caused e.g. related

to forest fire. Therefore, the forest owners did not feel very conformable with the idea of allowing any

camp-fires in their forests. Especially, when they did not know the entrepreneur beforehand, the permission

was usually not granted, but it would require an established and trustful relationship between

a forest owner and an entrepreneur. Similarly, the damage to the sapling stand was one of the most

often mentioned threats related to the business activities in the forest. Most of the forest owners did not

see that hiking, riding or even snowmobile safaris could damage the forest, if carefully planned. They

nevertheless emphasized that it is always a major risk to allow business activities to take place near to a

sapling stand.

“Ja kyllä mä pelkään sitä vähän, että jos joku safariyrittäjä tulis tänne ja järjestäis niitä retkiä

niin just tämä tulenkäsittely ja muu, että se on sellainen vähän peikko, että sen takia mä en

välttämättä halua mitään yöpyjiä ainakaan tänne oikein paljon, tänne metsiin.” (Int. F6)

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