Sweden became a modern country only in the twentieth century. A major shift in silvicultural practices, plus an emphasis on dairy production, contributed to this national transformation at a time when, paradoxically, rural Sweden was being denuded of people and agriculturally and pastorally driven pursuits were replaced by urban-based industries and services. The introduction of cheap oil and of improvements in agricultural technologies and strategies had more to do with the development of forestry in Sweden during the twentieth century than any of forestry's own achievements did during the same period. The southern third of Sweden benefited more from these innovations than did the two northernmost thirds.

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