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Experiences and emotions among private forest owners versus public interests: why ownership matters
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography and Economic History.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography and Economic History. Faculty of Social Sciences, Nord University, Steinkjer, Norway.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6557-3876
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography and Economic History, Economic and social geography.
2018 (English)In: Land use policy, ISSN 0264-8377, E-ISSN 1873-5754, Vol. 79, p. 801-811Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

By adopting a qualitative approach and considering the case of Sweden, the aim of the paper is to investigate and analyse how private forest owners' experiences and emotions related to their private forest ownership manifest themselves in their relationship to public use of their forests and public planning for recreation and biodiversity on their land. The study incorporates and elaborates upon a conceptual framework related to the dimensions of property rights, feelings of ownership, and sense of place in its analysis of the private forest ownership context. Fifty-one semi-structured interviews were conducted with forest owners owning land in two geographically different areas. The results demonstrate the important role of the 'social contract' of rights and responsibilities, which are associated with the concept of property rights, and are embedded in the relationship between private ownership and the Swedish custom of the Right of Public Access to nature in the broad acceptance of public use of private forestland. The forest owners' relationships with public planning are diverse and complex, illustrating the various dimensions of private forest ownership, the heterogeneous forest owner corps, and the different geographical contexts. The dimensions of ownership feelings and sense of place, and the interplay between them, are shown to contribute to enhanced sentiments linked to forest ownership, expressed in ambivalence or lack of conviction about public planning. An important point of resistance to public interests is owners' identity as stewards or long-term custodians of their particular forestland. The article ends with a set of recommendations for public policy and planning processes regarding public interests related to private forest ownership.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2018. Vol. 79, p. 801-811
Keywords [en]
forestland use, public interests, property rights, forest ownership, sense of place, Sweden
National Category
Human Geography Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Social and Economic Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-152346DOI: 10.1016/j.landusepol.2018.08.027ISI: 000454378800071Local ID: 881251OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-152346DiVA, id: diva2:1253060
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 2011-1702Available from: 2018-10-03 Created: 2018-10-03 Last updated: 2019-02-15Bibliographically approved

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Bergstén, SabinaStjernström, OlofPettersson, Örjan

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