ARTE Features the Rewilding Programme

The French-German TV Channel Arte has released a full documentary. It features Snowchange. A large Sámi forest realizes rewilding and community rights.

Arte has released a full documentary on peatlands in Europe, titled “Es lebe das Moor”. It features several Snowchange staff and Selkie fisherman Einari Martikainen. The film follows Snowchange staff in Linnunsuo peatland, fish traps and Koitajoki restoration.



Two Peatland and Forest Sites Support Waders in the Northeast

Two important and nearly intact peatland sites have joined the Rewilding Programme - Ihala in Nuorajärvi and Ristisuo in Suomussalmi.

Ihala is 15 hectare intact peatland site in Ilomantsi and an important component of the Varissaari Peatland complex. It is located in the close proximity to Petkeljärvi-Putkelanharju EU Nature 2000 site. All in all the Petkeljärvi-Putkelanharju (FI0700044) is 3417 hectares in size.

Ihala site is a representative of an intact peatland from southwest to northeast in Varissuo area. A wilderness cabin on the shores of lake Nuorajärvi is a feature on the site.

Ristisuo Peatland is 30 hectares in two lots located in the Suomussalmi municipality. It is for the most part fully intact with very minor ditching in the sides of the peatland. It can be considered of high value for biodiversity.

Ristisuo is directly adjacent to Sydänmaanaro EU Nature 2000 site (FI1200721), totalling 2986 hectares. Sydanmaanaro is exceptionally well preserved OGF and peatland territory. The area is very varied with moraine hills, lakes, small rivers and other features.

The bird biodiversity of the area is very relevant with Whooper Swan, waders, Common crane as well as endangered the common kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) and hen harrier (Circus cyaneus) nesting.



Riuskanjoki Fully Protected

Riuskanjoki is a 43 hectare boreal river and forest site that has been now fully protected in Suomussalmi, NE Finland.

Riuskanjoki is situated between two EU Nature sites and performs a function of an ecological corridor connecting over 3000 hectares. The site has primary forests, a natural river Riuskanjoki and peatlands.

Today Snowchange and the regional Center for the Environment, Transport and Commerce agree to strictly protect this important site, conserving it legally.



First Rewilding Sites for 2023 Strengthens Wild Reindeer

Uusi-Kannas is a OGF and peatland site in Kuhmo that supports the existing lands for wild reindeer.

Uusi-Kannas has approximately 80-years-old spruce forest, partially logged section, intact peatland and a boreal stream that runs through it.

It is located between two significant EU Nature 2000 sites, Ristivaara (FI1200203), 907 hectares to the south and Jämäsvaara (FI1201002) with 3257 hectares to the north. Jämäsvaara is known for its natural remaining timber forests.



Swedish Postcode Lottery Supports Sámi Forests

Swedish Postcode Lottery has stepped in to support the Sámi forest work of Snowchange.

They have recently approved a large two year project Indigenous and Traditional Knowledge Rewilding of Boreal Forests in Finland that works with Sámi and Finnish villages to restore and conserve critically important boreal forests in Finland, as 97% of them have been lost between 1900-2022.

Postkodstiftelsens loggaBy combining Indigenous knowledge and science, this project will restore and protect 250 hectares of Sámi forests, and positively influence up to 1000 hectares of middle boreal forests and associated peatlands, to support biodiversity, climate change mitigation, and Indigenous-traditional livelihoods.

The project advances a novel, reformative approach to restoration and conservation summarized as ICCAs – Indigenous and Community Conservation Areas as defined by the UN Environmental Programme. It addresses the past equity issues in conservation, provides the Sámi and other villages with agency for the first time in their own areas, and pride in restoration and conservation.

As a step up into this direction, a small peatland and forest Sámi ecosystem of Kaksamajärvi was added to the Landscape Rewilding Programme today.



Juurikkasuo joins the programme, Guardian writes about the Koitajoki programme

Juurikkasuo, a significant peatland ecosystem joins Landscape Rewilding Programme. The Guardian reports on the Koitajoki rewilding.

Juurikkasuo is a 136,49 ha high priority peatland-forest ecosystem at the Lieksa international border. It is part of the Koitajoki catchment.

It is west and in the middle of the EU Nature 2000 area FI0700060, totalling 631 ha. Juurikkasuo is an important and significant peatland-forest system in the extreme Northeast of Koitajoki catchment on the Finnish side.

The site has had populations of Golden Plover, Wood Sandpiper, geese, willow ptarmigan and Common greenshank.

Additionally this week, the Guardian writes about the Koitajoki rewilding initiative. Link provided below.



What Meanings Can Rewilding Have?

Snowchange is collaborating with IUCN and Swedish Biodiversity Center in Biodiversa NARROW project to explore meaning, narratives and positioning of rewilded places and waters. The first science paper has been released to document and discuss the knowns and the unknowns of the restored-rewilded places. Focus is on Western Finnish peatland of Salojenneva and Indigenous Sámi Vainosjoki river.

A paper out in Humanities and Social Science Communications now explores and partly answers these questions:

The current planetary shifts and the redistribution of species require us to rethink nature conservation, both from the viewpoint of forming novel ecosystems and in relation to issues of diversity, historical conservation practices, as well as historical and current injustice. Mainly, this reorientation needs to address the historical errors of mainstream societies that promoted nature conservation for their own benefit, at the expense of Indigenous societies. The article explores two Finnish and Sámi rewilding cases of community-led action. In the end, the research seeks to answer how to negotiate a new co-existence with rewilded sites to achieve a better future.



Kivisuo Expanded and Protected to 766 hectares

Today the environmental authorities have decided on formal protection of Kivisuo with the 2022 expansion and the area is in total now 766 hectares.

Kivisuo is a internationally significant peatland complex located in the Sub-Arctic in Muhos and Utajärvi in Finland. Snowchange initially secured over 600 hectares to the LRP in 2020. Over the past few years the area has grown and is now fully protected at 766 hectares.



Snowchange Steps Up Support for the Wild Reindeer

The wild forest reindeer (Rangifer tarandus fennicus) was hunted to extinction in early 1900s in Finland. The last bull reindeer was killed in North Karelia, in Ilomantsi in 1918. Then, in 1960s, the stocks re-emerged slowly from Russian Karelia and spread to Western Boreal and into the Kuhmo region. Snowchange and the Landscape Rewilding Programme announce today a range of actions to support the wild reindeer.

Landscape Rewilding Programme announces a focus on securing more wild reindeer habitat and sites for recovery and restoration:

Matosuo peatland in Soini supports pastures and rewilding efforts are negotiated with Metsähallitus in Western Boreal

Ecological corridors have been established in Ähtäri municipality with intact peatlands, recovering forests and interconnected Nature 2000 sites in Oravasuo area, totaling with state lands over 400 hectares

Whole of the Naamanjoki river course has been secured to the LRP as well as Horneankoski forest, river course and peatlands in the northern expanse of Kuhmo municipality which are both ecological corridors and protected sites

In the occasional northern edge of the wild reindeer range in Muhos, Kivisuo peatland complex, currently at 650 hectares is expanded to 760 hectares of Snowchange lands to support other wildlife and reindeer habitat

We are also proud to announce early news of a 2023 Wild Reindeer book by award-winning Antti Leinonen, a National Geographic published wildlife photographer. This publication will feature traditional knowledge, unique photographs and materials regarding the Kuhmo reindeer.



Abloy Partners With Snowchange to Secure the New Rewilding Center

ABLOY, a Finnish company joins in supporting the new Snowchange Rewilding Center in Tohmajärvi.

ABLOY will deliver state of the art locks and security solutions to the new HQ. ABLOY and Snowchange have already in the past collaborated on securing the scientific field station in Linnunsuo wetland.
ABLOY is a leader in safety and locking solutions leading to more trust in the world. By combining digital and mechanic solutions Abloy provides modern solutions for humans, property and business solutions as a part of the ASSA ABLOY group.

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