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Traditions in Norwegian forests Karen Marie Mathisen Hedmark University College Department of forestry and wildlife management RUTH 2008.

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Presentation on theme: "Traditions in Norwegian forests Karen Marie Mathisen Hedmark University College Department of forestry and wildlife management RUTH 2008."— Presentation transcript:

1 Traditions in Norwegian forests Karen Marie Mathisen Hedmark University College Department of forestry and wildlife management RUTH 2008

2 Norwegian history of wood use

3 Timber floating Earliest registered around 1100, increased with increasing importance of timber Regulated by law in 1794: gave the landowner some income for collection of timber in the river 1854: floating organizations and cleaning of rivers regulated by law All logs were measured and marked with the owners mark, before they were let out into the river 5-6% disappeared on the way, some were stolen

4 Timber floating Rivers were straightened out to ease the floating, sometimes channels were built around difficult areas, dams were built to regulate river flows In lakes the timber was gathered in rafts and floated across When all the timber was into the river, a cleaning team would follow the timber and loosen timber that got stuck at difficult places Tools and equipement: pike pole, boats

5 Timber lenses and lake transport

6 Horses and forestry Until 1945 almost all timber was taken out of the forest by horsepower 1983: less than 2% Advantages of using the horse: –Low impact on terrain and surrounding forest –Low investment –Good availability in difficult terrain –Useful for thinning

7 Horses and forestry Disadadvantages of using a horse: –Need of supervision –Everyday care –Manual work in the forest Horses used in Norwegian forestry: –Dølahest –Fjording –Ardenner (Belgium)

8 Use of forest by domestic animals 15-20% of Norwegian sheep are grazing in the forest (1996), also cows, horses and goats (but mountain fields are more important) Earlier this was more common, especially because few areas were suitable for agriculture in Norway In summertime domestic animals were herded by shepards

9 Use of forest by domestic animals 22% of Norways area is productive forest areas 50% is potential grazing areas In winter time animals were kept in enclosures or stables near the houses

10 In addition to summer grazing, winter forage was collected in forest areas

11 Agriculture and forest burning 1620: burning of forest for agriculture was introduced from Finland, a practice that was used for several hundred years at Finnskogen, They cut the forest and left it to dry for a year, before they sat fire to the forest and planted rye in the ashes A good area could be used for 3 years before they had to burn a new area – area demanding method This method ended before 1900, because the forest was soon more valuble for timber use

12 Birch Bark (waterproof, roofs, clothes, backpacs, oil, paper, fire) Sap (drink, medicin, skin treatment, beer, wine) Lye from birch ashes used for soap etc.

13 Birch Burl, flamy birch and curly birch – bowls, cups and furniture Dry leaves and bark for domestic animals Roots and shoots (baskets, ropes)

14 Pine Tar (wounds, skin problems, medicin, antiseptic, waterproofing of houses and boats, boots and skiis) Needles (vitamin C on boattrips) Long-lasting wood: stave churches and log houses, boats Christmas tree on the west coast Resineous wood for fire and light Bark (bread 1812, food for sheep and goats, floaters for fish nets)

15 Spruce Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square (since 1946) Shoots (vitamin C, medicin for pain and infections, tea, beer) Resin (desinfection, vitamin C, chewing gum) Cones (plaster, ointment) Needles (against insects) Most important tree, less strong wood

16 Berry resources Vaccinium myrtillus /Blueberry Vaccinium vitis – idaea/ Lingonberry Vaccinium uliginosum/Bog bilberry Rubus chamaemorus/ Cloudberry Empetrum nigrum/ Crowberry Vaccinium oxycoccus/ Cranberry

17 Mushrooms species of mushroom, 1000 edible, 100 are good food mushrooms

18 Women in forest traditions Traditionally gatherers Forest owners 12 % working in forestry (1990) Girs in forestry school had 4 challenges: –Get the chainsaw started –Boys attitudes –Their own attitudes and others towards feminine/masculine identity and farmers

19 Yggdrasil

20 Thank you for your attention


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