Mizaraitė, D., Mizaras, S. and Sadauskienė, L. 2010. Lithuanian Private Forestry: the Situation, Tendencies and Problems.   Baltic Forestry 16 (2): 296 – 302.

This paper is based on a comparative analysis of private forest owners’ sociological surveys in the years 1999 and 2008. In Lithuania, private forestry arose during the last decade. Today, the private forest sector includes 236 thousand private forest owners. The annual volume from the felling in private forests is approximately 2.3 million m³ (State forest survey service, 2008). The regeneration of private forests is satisfactory and the number of recorded illegal cuttings is decreasing. Over 30 thousand individual forest management plans have been prepared for private forest estates. During the last ten years, the private forests’ management legal basis and system of private forests supervision were created and the new system for private forest owners’ advising and training was initiated.
During the study period, the relative importance of private forest owners' various objectives changed. The importance of wood for home consumption slightly increased. However, the interest in obtaining an income from the wood trade and developing recreational areas became less important. Furthermore, the number of forest owners who either purchased or inherited forest estates significantly increased.
The level of importance of various forest estates management problems also changed. The problem of the strict regulations on private forest management decreased in importance during the last ten years. The most important problem for private forest owners was that the forest estates were inefficient for farming due to their small size. The number of private forest owners willing to sell their forest estate decreased. The majority of private forests owners intended to retain the forest estates and to give the property rights to inheritors in the future. The new EU financial support process arose during the last years. Approximately 16% of respondents intended to apply for financial support from EU funds.
The tendency of the expansion of private forests was observed. The existing problem of the private forest owners’ lack of education and training could be solved by establishing private forest services in municipalities. Furthermore, the compensation system should be improved in the future by compensating for losses in already protected areas.

Key words: private forests, owners, initial state, survey and tendencies.