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Š. Pezdevšek Malovrh, L. Zadnik Stirn, J. Krč: INFLUENCE OF OWNERSHIPAND PROPERTYSTRUCTURE ... Šumarski list br. 3–4, CXXXIV (2010), 139-149

port, 2007, 2008).The effects of inefficient private forest
management are reflected in the decreasing economic
value of forests, low utilization of site potentials, lower
exploitation of financial funds for forest investments,
low value and marketing of timber and unutilised forest
functions. In addition, forest owners tend to be passive
and unwilling to cooperate (Mori et. al., 2006).

Providing the owners with a fresh incentive for forest
management is therefore one of the key issues of private
forest resources mobilization.The solution lies in the activities
related to encouraging cooperation among forest
owners, which has become extremely important due to
increased pressures of competition and a changing position
in global markets, brought about by globalization
and rapid economic progress and a dynamic market.

Several millions of forest owners are members of
different forest associations. Their cooperation is not limited
to an exchange of information and education but
also results in better vertical cooperation between the
owners and the government, commercial com pa nies/ corporations,
the market, etc. (Kittredge,2005).

The experiences of the countries with a tradition of
forest owners’ cooperation (Sweden, Norway, Finland,
Austria and Germany) reveal a story of success. Forestry
cooperation among owners in private forests began in
Scandinavia through forest owners’societies as early as
1910.Their aim was to provide certain services to their
members, ranging from planning to performing silvicultural
and harvesting works and logging (Sennblat,
1989).Today the main goal of private forest owners’ organizations
is lobbying for the owners, primarily in the
fields of forest policy, timber marketing and taxes as
well as the transfer of ownership (Valkonen, 2001,
Toivonen etal., 2005, Wild-Ecketal., 2006).

Particularly encouraging for private forest management
worldwide is the increasing number of associations
for forest owners as a means of cooperation
between forestry experts and forest owners since these
associations provide technical and professional assistance,
spread information and educate the owners in
different fields of forest management. In addition, they
spread the information about the development of forests
and the rural areas among the laymen and increase the
awareness of the importance of forests(Lindestav, et
al., 2003, Stordal et al., 2005, Feliciano, 2006,
Men des,2006,PezdevšekMalovrh,2005, 2006,
Avdibegović, etal. 2010).

The supposition is that the willingness of private forest
owners to cooperate primarily depends on the personal
interests, which are linked with the owner’s
needs and socio-economic status on the one hand, and
are limited with the state of the forest and its size on the
other. In the starting phase of joining forest owners and
with some examples of good practice already present, it
is crucial to find out which characteristics of forest
owners and which conditions influence the owners’
willingness to cooperate. Considering the diversity that
characterizes Slovenian privately-owned forests we decided
to focus our research on analysing how the age of
forest owners and the ownership and property structure
affect their willingness to cooperate; these factors had
proved crucial in preliminary analyses.

The aim of the paper is to find out, using of surveys
analyzed by logistic regression, how certain characteristics
linked with forest owners affect their willingness
to cooperate and which group of private forest owners
shows the highest willingness to join associations.

Ownership and property stru cture in Slovenian forests

Vlasnička i posjedovna struktura šuma u Sloveniji

The property structure of Slovenian privately-owned
forests was analysed on the basis of forest management
plan 2001–-2010.The analysis revealed that 58.4 % of
owners have a forest property smaller than 1 ha and that
this property accounts for 16.2 % of the forests in Slovenia.
In terms of size such property is comparable to the
property bigger than 30 ha, which is nonetheless owned
by merely 0.6 % of all owners. Hence, the two categories
of forest property, privately-owned forests smaller
than 1 ha and those bigger than 30 ha, account for less
than a third of all privately-owned forests in Slovenia. It
can therefore be claimed that in Slovenia the most important
categories in terms of size of property are those
between 1 and 30 ha as they represent over a quarter of
Slovenian forests size-wise as well as ownership-wise.
Slightly over 6 % of private owners own between 5 and

9.99ha which covers just below one fifth of private forests
in Slovenia.The last quarter of private forests is
the size range from 10 to 29.99 ha, owned by 3.7 % of
forest owners.

Another important factor in property structure is the
number of spatially separated plots. Namely, a certain
forest property may not always be in one piece. Consequently,
in forest management it is not only the size of
the property that is important but also the fragmentation
of property that is of major concern (Medved,
2000). Based on prior research (Winkler,Gašperšič,
1987, Medved,1991, Medved,2000, PezdevšekMalovrh,
2006) it has been established that
the average number of spatially separated plots is increasing
and according to the latest data, owners, on
average, possess property on three different locations.

The situation in ownership structure was analysed
on the basis of the data provided by the land and pro