Quantifying the Implications of Different Land Users' Priorities in the Management of Boreal Multiple-Use Forests

Environ Manage. 2016 Apr;57(4):770-83. doi: 10.1007/s00267-015-0643-5. Epub 2015 Dec 8.


In the management of natural resources, conflicting interests and objectives among different stakeholders often need to be considered. Here, we examine how two contrasting management scenarios of boreal forests in northern Sweden differ in their consequences on forest structural composition and the economic gains at harvest. Management strategies prioritize either (i) forest characteristics that promote grazing resources for reindeer herded by the indigenous Sámi, or (ii) timber production as practiced in Sweden today. When prioritizing reindeer grazing, forest stands develop a higher abundance of older age classes with larger trees and lower stem density, which reduces harvest and revenue levels by approximately 20% over a 100-year period. The differences between these strategies illustrate the complexity in finding a trade-off for coexistence between industrial land users and other livelihoods that share the same landscape. Political support and institutional solutions are necessary to initiate changes in policy in finding such trade-offs in the management of environmental resources and thereby influence the optimal distribution of costs and benefits between different actors.

Keywords: Boreal forests; Forest management scenarios; Land use conflict; Multiple-use management; Reindeer husbandry; Trade-off.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animal Husbandry
  • Animals
  • Conflict, Psychological
  • Conservation of Natural Resources*
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Forestry*
  • Reindeer*
  • Sweden