North European forests have, for most part, been subject to intensive forestry since the early 1950s, with clear-cut harvesting being the dominant regeneration method. Consequently, old-growth forests and their associated species have declined, but clear cuts also tend to disturb recreational users and tourists. To mitigate these negative effects, continuous-cover forestry has been proposed to combine economic, ecological and social interests. This regime refers to techniques that retain at least half of the trees in a stand per each harvesting entry, thus maintaining canopy cover throughout the logging rotation. However, the relative merits of different logging methods from aesthetic or recreational points of view are poorly understood. We therefore applied a two-step approach to evaluate people's views about a continuum of logging methods, from clear cutting to various techniques of retention forestry and unharvested mature forests. Firstly, in autumn 2017 we requested a total of 115 persons of different stakeholder groups to evaluate forest views based on photographs (taken in summer and winter months to control for seasonal impact) and, subsequently, to evaluate the same views in the field (to assess the similarity of evaluations based on photos and field visits). These groups were forestry professionals, members of hunter/gatherer, conservation and recreation societies, and non-Finn university exchange students with varying background. Secondly, in late winter 2018 we mailed the same photo-evaluation questionnaire for a random selection of 1,500 Finns, 15-75 years of age, and ran the questionnaire in the internet also. We will present an analysis of this approach, with focus on how people's background (profession, hobbies, other interests) relate to continuous-cover forestry. Our results bear significance for areas in or nearby recreational forests or tourist attractions, but they also provide yet another view for managing ordinary managed forests.
1. Koivula, M., Kuuluvainen, T., Hallman, E., Kouki, J., Siitonen, J. & Valkonen, S. 2014: Forest management inspired by natural disturbance dynamics (DISTDYN) - a long-term research and development project in Finland. Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research 29: 579-592.
2. Korpela, K., Ylén, M., Tyrväinen, L. & Silvennoinen, H. 2009: Stability of self-reported favourite places and place attachment over a 10-month period. Journal of Environmental Psychology 29: 95-100.
3. Tyrväinen, L., Silvennoinen, H. & Hallikainen, V. 2017: Effect of the season and forest management on the visual quality of the nature-based tourism environment: a case from Finnish Lapland. Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research 32: 349-359.