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Zeigler, Emma, 2010. A comparison in attitudes and activity among different groups of private forest owners in Noarootsi municipality, Estonia. Second cycle, A1E. Alnarp: SLU, Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre



Noarootsi municipality is situated in north western Estonia and has like the rest of the country
had a rather turbulent history of forest ownership. The forest has been mainly privately owned
at times and fully state owned during the Soviet Union area. Since the fall of the Soviet Union
Estonia has gone through a privatization process in which former land owners could retrieve
their farms. Many of the land owners in Noarootsi municipality had fled to Sweden during
World War II and did not move back although many did retrieve their properties. The purpose
of this study was to research what differences there were between the forest owners living in
Estonia and those living in Sweden’s attitudes and behavior regarding forest management and
what influenced these. More knowledge about this may give the Estonian forestry sector a
greater ability to fulfill the forest owners’ objectives and improve the activity on their
Data for the study was collected through a questionnaire that was sent to 145 of Noarootsi
municipality’s private forest owners, whereof 70 lived in Estonia and 75 lived in Sweden. In
total 60 percent of the forms were returned, of the Estonians 59 percent returned the
questionnaire while 61 percent of the Swedes returned it.
Forest owners living in Sweden were significantly older than those living in Estonia and also
female forest owners were significantly older than male forest owners, however it was only
among Estonians that the difference between females and males was significant. Naturally,
only Estonians lived permanently on their properties but a greater share of the Estonian men
than women lived permanently on their property. Of the survey’s all respondents, a greater
proportion were men than women.
Estonian forest owners’ ownership objectives were in general more connected to an
economically significant use of the forest than the Swedish forest owners’ ownership
objectives were. Swedes in general thought family ties were of greatest importance and
secondly opportunity of recreation. The Estonians in general instead rated access to timber or
firewood of greater importance. Family ties were important among Estonians too, but not
much more than the access to residence. Estonians had in general rated most motives of
acquiring of greater importance than Swedes. Pursuing forestry was rated approximately as
high by both groups, but the importance of pursuing nature conservation was rated higher
than forestry by Estonians and lower than forestry by Swedes. Men in general rated all
motives of greater importance than women did.
Few respondents estimated their initial knowledge to be more than low. Of those who did,
more were Estonian and more had acquired their properties through other ways than the land
restitution process. Also, those with more initial knowledge seemed to be using or intend to
use their forests for more income related reasons than other forest owners did. Women in
general estimated their initial knowledge to be lower than men did. Most respondents gained
knowledge since they became forest owners but there was a big variation for what knowledge
sources they thought most important. Magazines and books were important for the Estonians
but not so for the Swedes and this may be due to these sources in part are in Estonian and
difficult for Swedes to assimilate. More important for the Swedes and on-property residents
were family or friends, which may imply a wider spread forestry tradition among Swedes and
those living by their forests. Information evenings and in particular forest days were important
sources for cooperative members. Probably the members have better accessibility to these
sources through the cooperative.
Close to sixty percent of the respondents carried out some sort of forestry measure on their
own but differences between the groups were great. Estonians were much more active than
Swedes, which is natural, considering the Estonians living so much closer to their properties
and men were more active than women. Furthermore, more of the Estonians and men hired
external help for forestry measures than Swedes or women did. But the Swedes in general
hired help for a greater number of measures than Estonians did, which was much a result of a
very great amount of cooperative members showing they hired help for a large number of
measures. More than eighty percent felt a need to hire help in the future. There were no great
differences between the groups, except for cooperative members feeling a need of help for a
greater number of measures than non-members did.
Most of the respondents thought active use of the forest was important. Estonians and women
in general thought it was more important than Swedes and men did. A greater amount of the
cooperative members than the non-members thought active use was important and for these
also the cooperative was considered the most important contact that influenced their forest
management. Non-member Swedes instead rated family or friends of greatest importance,
while Estonians thought the municipality had greatest influence on their forest management.
A cooperative membership seem to play an important role for the activity level in the forest.
Although members did not carry out the greatest amount of forestry measures on their own,
they were the owners of which the greatest amount hired help, and that hired help for the
largest number of measures. They also felt the greatest importance of active use and largest
need of hiring future help.

Main title:A comparison in attitudes and activity among different groups of private forest owners in Noarootsi municipality, Estonia
Authors:Zeigler, Emma
Supervisor:Sallnäs, Ola
Examiner:Agestam, Eric
Series:Master thesis / SLU, Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre
Volume/Sequential designation:150
Year of Publication:2010
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A1E
Student's programme affiliation:SMJMP Master of Science in Forestry - Open Entrance 300 HEC
Supervising department:(S) > Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre
Keywords:private forest, Noarootsi, Estonia
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Forestry - General aspects
Deposited On:26 May 2010 13:34
Metadata Last Modified:20 Apr 2012 14:13

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