Pentti Linkola’s memorial forest will be founded in Riuttasalo in Toivakka, which is located in Central Finland near Päijänne, as a joint purchase by the Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation and Päijänne Natural Heritage Foundation. Kurikanvuori in Sahalahti, in Kangasala in the Pirkanmaa region, will be protected as Pertti Linkola’s memorial grove.
The memorial forest and memorial grove were chosen among many potential areas, and they represent the rich nature in the Päijänne area at its best – Riuttasalo on the eastern and Kurikanvuori on the western side of the large lake. With the creation of these new conservation areas, nearly 60 hectares of Finnish forests will be taken out of the economic cycle.
“The untouched peace, the vigorous forest full of different species, the babbling brooks, the waters full of life, and the location close to other conservation areas were the grounds for protecting these new areas,” says Anneli Jussila, Conservation Director for the Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation.
Linkola’s memorial forest in Toivakka is unusually peaceful and quiet. Riuttasalo encloses a forest pond, where mysterious dark waters reflect the surrounding snags and flat-topped pines. These forests of rustling conifers and aspen provide a home for bears, birds of prey, woodpeckers and many endangered inhabitants of the old forests.
Linkola knew the areas surrounding Päijänne as a treasure trove for birdwatching, fishing and nature observation. In Linkola’s memorial forest and memorial grove, the varied nature presents itself in an unusually dignified way. The moss-grown windthrows under the old pine trees act as a safe haven for many species of organisms.
After Linkola passed away in the spring of 2020, the Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation started a memorial fundraiser which has raised nearly 435,000 euros to date. The fundraiser will continue after the memorial areas have been purchased, as the price was not completely covered by the funds that have been raised. The plan is also to extend the conservation areas in the future.
Pentti Linkola’s memorial forest and memorial grove are protecting our immeasurably valuable natural heritage. From Loppasenvuori in Riuttasalo or Kurikanvuori in Sahalahti we can see what Linkola valued the most: wild nature and its diverse habitats. In these surroundings we can see the forest through Pentti Linkola’s eyes, and the memory of a great environmentalist will live on for generations to come.