Att äga rum : En undersökning av skogsägande och lokal utveckling i tre värmländska församlingar

Sammanfattning: Karlsson, S. 2007: Att äga rum. En undersökning av skogsägande och lokal utveckling i tre värmländska församlingar. (Ruling Spaces. An Investigation of Forest Ownership and Local Development in Three Parishes in Värmland)This thesis explores the present ownership structure of forest estates in the province of Värmland, and in particular three parishes in Värmland and attempts to explain how the ownership structure has evolved to its present state. The purpose is to reveal the importance of this ownership structure for the development potential, expressed as the local population’s prospects of earning a living in forest regions.The empirical material is based on registers/databases from the tax authorities, Swedish Forest Agency and the County Administration Board. The thesis includes a survey among forest owners (landowners) in the region in focus for the thesis as well as living outside this region. Finally, interviews have been the basis for the work. The survey and the interviews were based on theories of property rights and institutional economy. The primary theoretical framework was based on local development theories.The ownership structure of forest estates in the province of Värmland is characterized by variation within the region. In the Western parts, small scale private ownership is dominant, where a majority of owners live near the estate/property, while in the Eastern parts, that historically has been a base for significant industrialized processing of natural resources, a very large share of the forest land is owned by a single corporation, Bergvik Skog AB. The Northern parts of Värmland are a mosaic of different owners where a large portion of the owners live in cities or regions far away. Another noteworthy actor is the Svenska Kyrkan (Church of Sweden) that locally has a dominant position in Värmland.The evolution of the ownership structure to its present state can be explained in terms of market economy that has nurtured rationalization acquisitions with the purpose of reducing the number of estates to instead arrive at a small number of larges estates. It is concluded that the number of forest owners that does not live near the estate/property has increased in the post-war era. This relationship relates to the urbanization caused by, among other factors, well developed rationalization within the agricultural and forestry sectors in the region. It is also pointed out that the legislation around acquisition of land has influenced the development.The survey together with the interviews conclude that the ownership structure does not have a significant impact on the local population’s development strategies. Nor does the locally high share of owners not living near the estate seem to be an important factor. The thesis is concluded by raising questions around the aspect of obligations when forests are owned by others than the local population.KEY WORDS: Forest owners, property rights, rural development, the province of Värmland, Sweden