Aki Kaurismäki's donation enabled the buying of a large forest area in Lapland

Luonnonperintösäätiön suojelualue Seitasaari

At the end of the summer, the Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation acquired a forest area of great conservation value, bounded by five different waterways within the Kaamanen region of Inari. The deal was made possible when Sputnik, a company owned by director Aki Kaurismäki and artist Paula Oinonen, donated 100 000 euros for this very purpose.Through their inspiring example, the donors want to remind us that each of us can make a contribution to maintain the natural state of the forests and the peace of the wilderness in Finland.

The foundation's new forest is limited to Lake Muddusjärvi, located northwest of Lake Inari, having once been its bay during the times when the surface of the water was higher. Syrminiemi is today an enormous island, thanks to the narrow canal dug after the wars. The conservation area, which will be called Sieidisuálui, i.e. Seita Island, is to date the largest of the nearly hundred conservation areas owned by the Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation, covering 217 hectares.

If there is something special about Seitasaari, the area has plenty of forest and varying terrain forms, and this is something that can also be said about Syrminiemi, which creates an impressive landscape. Since the majority of the large national parks in the north have no trees, or they are made up of tundra with only a small number of trees, the new conservation area is also of great importance for the protection of Upper Lapland. The widespread Muotkatunturi Wilderness Area begins right behind the open section of Lake Muddusjärvi in the west.

The hold-overs of Seitasaari are to a great extent over 250-year-old pines with strong branches. The curled dry shrubs that shine bright also bear much older layers of time in their trunks. In the heart of the area, we find a small lake called Hevosaitajärvi, and behind this uniquely beautiful detail, there are ancient pine trees growing on a cliff, where they say hello to those passing the area. The northern end of Lake Tontanvuottamajärvi, whose original name, Stááluvyettimjáávrás, links the site to the Sami mythology, remains in the immediate vicinity of the conservation area.

The competitive bidding was a hard process of several months. The first one to tip the foundation about the area, which happened during the late winter of this year, was Stephanie Sinclair Lappi from Wild Immersion Finland. Together with two anonymous donors, Wild Immersion Finland has given its contribution to the purchase.

PHOTO Anneli Jussila

Sieidisuálui - Seitasaari on a map