Of Holmen’s over 1 000 000 hectares of forest land, just over 80 per cent is used for wood production. The remaining 20 per cent is set aside as conservation areas.
In Sweden all forest land that is naturally able to produce one cubic metre standing volume of wood per hectare per year is counted as productive. In Holmen’s forests, around five per cent of the productive forest land constitutes areas set aside for nature conservation. This forest is exempt from harvesting and the majority of the set-asides are left to develop freely, although in some cases it may be necessary to take particular nature conservation measures.
These measures must promote specific processes and create biologically important structures on which some species are wholly dependent and which are favourable for many others. Prescribed burning and clearing the ground around old aspens or broadleaves are common examples. The priorities governing which forest is set aside are determined by numerous factors, including natural assets, location, size and history.
In addition to set-asides, around five percent of the conservation area is created when forest harvesting leaves behind small biotopes, buffer zones and groups of trees. Unproductive forest, which is defined as forest land that produces less than one cubic metre of growth per hectare per year, is exempted from all forestry activities. In total, the conservation area thus accounts for around 20 per cent of Holmen’s forest land.
Map of protected forest in Sweden
On the website protectedforests.com, Holmen and several other major forest owners show their formal and voluntary set-aside areas in Sweden. A link to the map can be found on the right here. The map will open in a new window.