Photo: Niclas Ahlberg/N
Service production in the forest
Visitor friendly forests with mushrooms, berries, silence and adventure are important for both individuals and companies in the rural service sector. Living forests and beautiful landscapes are the production base for a growing visitor industry with nature and experiences in focus. Just as in the rest of the country, the countryside needs a modern enterprise with development of the service sector where many of tomorrow's jobs exist. In continous cover forests, natural tourism can be developed, both for Swedish and international visitors. Landowners can create new opportunities for revenue within their own operations or in collaboration with other contractors, while forestry is carried out by clear cut free methods.
Photo: Sindre Magnusson
Many of the forest animals and plants need older trees, a variety of tree species and dead wood to survive. Today's forestry practices threaten a wide range of species that cannot survive in the relatively young forests with trees of the same species and age classes that have now replaced the different-age mixed forests. The list of species that are threatened or have a downward trend is long, several previously common species are becoming fewer in individual numbers.
A forest is its animals, plants, insects, fungi and microorganisms. Planting new trees is not enough to create a forest. None of the environmental goals for the forest adopted by the Swedish Riksdag will be achieved. Sweden will not meet its international commitments either in terms of protected forest, preserved biodiversity or long-term sustainable use of the forest. New forestry methods are required at the same time as old and biologically valuable forests must of course be protected.
Photo: Stefan Oscarsson/N
The climate crisis means that all sectors of society must review their climate impact. The forest's central role for the climate is increasingly obvious. Often, people talk about different things: the ability of forest raw materials to replace fossil fuels and raw materials, and the forest's role in sequestring carbon, to be a carbon sink. An old natural forest stores carbon in both trees, shrubs and ground vegetation but even more so in the ground. Harvesting an old forest and converting it into short-lived products adversely affects the climate. It takes a very long time before the same amount of carbon can be stored again on the area that has been felled, knowing that the climate crisis is accelerating right now, better forestry methods are urgently needed.
New forestry methods must reduce the climate impact of forestry. More of the forest should remain after management and logging efforts, all trees will not be cut at the same time. A more varied forest with trees of different species and ages will cope better when the climate changes, the forest will gain greater resilience. A more specialized, modern, continious cover forestry with more mixed forests should allow for a greater proportion of long-lived products from the forest – such as houses and furniture – where the carbon will stay in the products for a long time.