History of Skogssällskapet
Skogssällskapet was founded in 1912 as an economic association, with the aim of reforesting the impoverished heathlands of southern Sweden. Today, Skogssällskapet is a public-service foundation, running a number of commercial companies. However, the basic concept has always remained the same: to promote forest management and nature conservation.
At the end of the 19th century, the Swedish forests had been cleared in many areas. Where slash-and-burn agriculture and war had not devastated the forests, the trees had been used in other ways. People were leaving the poverty in rural areas and moving to the towns and cities, or emigrating to America.
Wood was in high demand as a raw material, used for everything from shipbuilding and herring barrels to construction and charcoal burning. Edwin Ohlsson, a businessman in the wood product industry, travelled around the country and observed the devastation of the forests. But he also saw this as an opportunity – to reforest the impoverished landscape and give it a new lease of life.
Serving the forest for over a century
Radical measures were needed to save the forest. In 1912, Edwin Ohlsson initiated the formation of Southwest Sweden’s Skogssällskap as an economic association through a public announcement at the University of Gothenburg.
From the start, the objective of Skogssällskapet was to promote forest management, mainly through replanting on these impoverished heathlands and then converting the plantations to common forests.
In the decades that followed, the association accomplished a great deal, with large-scale restoration measures reforesting several hundred thousand hectares of barren windswept heathlands.
These activities also spread rapidly geographically, and Skogssällskapet was soon represented in much of the country .
In 1962, the Skogssällskapet statutes underwent major revision, and Skogssällskapet was converted from an economic association into a public-service foundation. Another change to the statutes was the inclusion of activities to promote nature conservation.
Today, the public-service activities in the Skogssällskapet foundation are kept separate from the commercial activities of the group companies.