Ukrainian lands have historically belonged to different states, so there are significant regional differences in the formation of legal regulation of forest use and, accordingly, forestry.
More than 100 years of forestry for the period before 1917 on the basis of the predominance of private ownership of forest and consumer approach to them (70% of forests in Ukrainian provinces were privately owned) led to the fact that the total forest area of plain Ukraine decreased by 40%, high quality oak and pine forests have virtually disappeared.
The consequences of deforestation were:
intensification of erosion processes, which caused the irreversible loss of a significant part of Ukrainian chernozems and fertile soils;
grinding of large and drying of many small rivers;
mass appearance of moving sands, dust storms, droughts and other negative natural phenomena as a result of famine years in the steppe and forest-steppe regions, etc.
After the nationalization of forests in 1918, the organization of forestry relied, on the one hand, on the national ownership of the main forests, and on the other, on the principles of a market economy.
In the early 1930s, forestry was merged with the forest industry, i.e. subordinated to it. The main timber harvesters were exempted from paying for it, and the timber was cut down according to the needs of timber consumers. Foresters who actively tried to defend strategic state interests were repressed.
For the next 30 years, the main task of forestry was to provide timber to the national economy. Industrialization, collectivization, war, restoration of the destroyed economy - all this required wood, and the forest was cut down again as needed.
There was no separate, specialized state body for forest management and forestry during this period. Relevant functions were performed by departments within the governing bodies of industry or agriculture. At the same time, the subordination of forestry and the management structure changed every 2-3 years. This negatively affected the condition of forests, which manifested itself in a sharp decrease in usable forests in the plains of Ukraine. Ukraine's need for forest resources was met by importing timber mainly from Russia and Belarus.
Realizing that the country's forest potential had been undermined and needed to be restored, the government established the Ministry of Forestry of Ukraine in 1966, whose main task was to restore forests, cultivate them on land unsuitable for agriculture, and ensure inexhaustible, scientifically sound forest use.
For half a century of planned professional, relatively stable forestry has yielded positive results. Since 1966, the total area of forested land has increased by 1.8 million hectares, and the total wood stock has increased by 1.4 billion cubic meters, mostly due to valuable species. Almost all loose sands have been fixed, field protective forest strips and anti-erosion plantations in ravines have been created on large areas.
The activities of the State Forest Resources Agency of Ukraine and its subordinate enterprises today are aimed at preserving forests, increasing their resource potential, strengthening the state forest service, preventing the development of consumer attitudes to forests. A significant number of social facilities remain on the balance sheet of forest enterprises. Forest enterprises, usually located in small villages and towns, are the main employers in places where it is difficult for people to find other work.
A professional forest management system has been preserved, which ensures an appropriate level of forest management in the forests subordinated to the State Forest Resources Agency of Ukraine.
At the initiative of local authorities of three Carpathian regions, with the support of the President of Ukraine (Decree of February 24, 1995 № 142) the lands of the forest fund of former forest plants in Zakarpattia, Ivano-Frankivsk and Chernivtsi regions were transferred to the State Forestry Committee (now the State Forest Resources Agency of Ukraine).