“The trend is heading in the right direction”
All the assets of the forest must be developed. That is the starting point for Holmen’s forestry. Increased growth creates economic value, but biodiversity and other natural assets are equally important.
The challenge is to implement such sustainable forestry on the ground. Attractive targets must result in concrete measures, and that has to be the case across the entire forest holding, which amounts to 1.3 million hectares. At the same time, forestry has to be reconciled with other interests, such as hunting, reindeer herding and outdoor recreation.
Much more forest
At Holmen Skog, over 1 000 employees and contractors are employed on their particular parts of the jigsaw. To get a glimpse into how production and nature conservation are combined, we visited Lars-Göran Nyström, one of five production managers in Holmen Skog’s Lycksele District in northern Sweden.
Lars-Göran does not work specifically on planning nature conservation. His focus is on silviculture, but nature conservation considerations inform every activity. During his 37 years in forestry, he has seen the implementation of key improvements.
“The most positive fact is that we now have much more forest than we did before. This is because we are not harvesting more than the growth, and so we’ve managed to create vigorous young forest with high growth,” says Lars-Göran Nyström.
Behind the rise in growth lies the use of selected plant material and more efficient methods of silviculture. Sweden’s forests have twice as much wood now as they had 100 years ago.
Lars-Göran Nyström stresses that nature conservation in the forests is an ongoing process, something that will never come to an end. New problems crop up and forestry must always be ready to embrace new knowledge.
“The planning of nature conservation is far superior to the way things used to be done. Of course mistakes are sometimes made, but I don’t think anyone consciously ignores our guidelines.”