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Conflicts in conservation: Woodland key habitats, authorities and private forest owners in Sweden

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The process of protection (e.g. reserves, agreements) on the lands of non-industrial private forest (NIPF) owners sometimes leads to conflicts (conflict: a perceived threat to needs, interests or concerns; in this study, “threat” was important). To investigate predictive factors for such conflicts in southern Sweden, a questionnaire was sent to 132 NIPF owners with woodland key habitat (WKH; identified biodiversity values). The response rate was 77% and conflict was reported by 22.5% of respondents, while 14% reported good relations with authorities. The respondents reported conflict due to rules for cutting, protection and compensation. Compared with other owners, those reporting conflict were younger (mean 54 versus 62 years old), had more negative opinion about the personal contact with the authority, had twice as large an area of WKH and had more negative opinion about the WKH. Logistic regression revealed four variables that predicted conflict: area of WKH on property, opinion about WKH, opinion about personal contact and, especially, age of respondent. Younger forest owners may be more dependent upon income from harvesting than older owners. Conflicts were frequent and the factors identified here should be taken into account in forest conservation work.

Keywords: Conflict; NIPF; forest conservation; private forest owners; protected area

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Animal Ecology, Department of Zoology, University of Gothenburg, Goteborg, Sweden

Publication date: December 1, 2009

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