Special Regional Features
As Metsähallitus administers large land areas and acts as a major employer, it bears a great responsibility in northern and eastern Finland in particular, where its operations have significant impacts on the regional economy. Promoting opportunities for work and livelihood, as well as economic activity are very important goals, which Metsähallitus strives to achieve in numerous ways.
Advisory committees representing various stakeholder groups and set up by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry operate in the regions of Lapland, Oulu and North Karelia. The task of these committees is to provide Metsähallitus with statements on regionally important issues regarding the use of state lands and waters. The committees also devise initiatives to safeguard the interests of the local people during the planning process of Metsähallitus’ operations.
Reindeer husbandry is another factor affecting Metsähallitus’ operations. Metsähallitus and the Finnish Reindeer Owners’ Association have an agreement aimed at further improving the interaction between the two key sources of livelihood in Lapland, reindeer husbandry and forestry, and to improve the conditions for practising both. As required by the agreement, negotiations in each herding co-operative cover fellings and other forestry operations in the area, and co-operation regarding sites important for reindeer husbandry are agreed on. The aim is to jointly develop forest management practices that take into account the needs of reindeer herding.
Northern Lapland differs from Metsähallitus’ other areas: it is a district for wilderness management managed by the Parks and Wildlife Finland unit, with various restrictions on business operations. The aim is to pay special attention to the sensitive environment and the needs of both the Sámi and reindeer herders. Fellings are mainly carried out manually and only on about one tenth of the area.