Pentti Linkola’s memorial forest Riuttasalo is located in Toivakka in Central Finland, near lake Päijänne and Leivonmäki National Park. Because of the high price of the land, caused by the forest’s unusually large area and extensive tree stock, the forest was purchased in collaboration with Päijänne Natural Heritage Foundation.
Riuttasalo represents the rich nature near the great lake at its best. The total area of Riuttasalo is approximately 77 hectares, and 43 hectares has been set aside as a memorial forest. The remaining forest will act as a protective zone, which will be integrated over time. With the additional private conservation area of approximately ten hectares to the east, the total protected area consists of 87 hectares of forest.
Riuttasalo has a uniquely peaceful and quiet atmosphere. The forest is located far from large roads and habitation. These forests of rustling conifers and aspen provide a home for bears, birds of prey, woodpeckers and many endangered inhabitants of the old forests. Several sightings of capercaillies have been made in the area, as well as willow grouses with their dramatically fallen numbers. The mountainous scenery also has a strong nightjar population. The forest has a know flying squirrel habitat and nesting tree.
The uneven terrain in Riuttasalo creates a combination of geodiversity and biodiversity, where the varied nature presents itself in a dignified way. The moss-grown windthrows under the old pine trees also act as a safe haven for many smaller organisms.
The Päijänne region was a particularly dear hiking area for Pentti Linkola. Likola was particularly fond of the eastern side of the lake, even though his fishing cottage was located in Kuhmoinen to the west of the lake. In Riuttasalo we can see the forest through Pentti Linkola’s eyes, and the memory of a great environmentalist will live on for generations to come.
Linkola founded the Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation in 1995. The most important thing for him was to protect areas on nature's terms, not for humans. People can visit the conservation area without leaving any traces, preferably only in small groups or on their own. Linkola did not support the construction of man-made structures in the conservation areas owned by the Foundation. Therefore the Foundation will not put up any signage in the memorial park or build any paths or shelters in Riuttasalo. Signs will be put up around the borders of the area to explain that it is a conservation area and that it is forbidden to drive motor vehicles or hunt there. The signs will also feature a map of the memorial forest.