Protecting natural areas in Enontekiö

The Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation has protected an area of over 40 hectares in Enontekiö with the help of the Upper Lapland old-growth forest fundraiser. The new conservation area consists of two boggy, wooded lots located approximately ten kilometres apart to the east and southeast of the centre of Enontekiö.

Photo of a big burl in the trunk of an old pine tree.
Photo: Petri Haapala

The larger of the lots, Sitsapesämaa, covers thirty hectares to the north of Ketomella village. The area is covered with mature pine forest, with some of the bear-lichen covered trees being up to two hundred years old. The Siberian jay, the capercaillie and the parrot crossbill all nest deep in the shade of the forest. In the boggier areas you can also hear the cackle of the willow grouse. Some of the area is made up of bogs in their natural state. These parts are popular among cranes and many waders.

“Sitsapesämaa also has a valuable landscape, as amazing views over the Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park open up towards Pyhäkero and Ounastunturi from the western and northern edges of the areas,” explains the Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation’s Conservation Officer Petri Haapala, who visited the area.

The smaller area of just over ten hectares, located in Peltovuoma village along the Nunnasentie road, is bordered to the south by the Pasmajoki river, which is part of the Ounasjoki river basin. In May, the river overflows onto the Saivojänkkä bog.

“At that time of year, the riverbank is a real oasis for migratory birds. When I visited the area, I spotted tens of endangered northern pintails and ruffs that were having tournaments on the river bank. Spotted redshanks were wading in the deep floodwaters, and a white-tailed eagle was carrying fish from the nearby lake Pasmajärvi,” Petri Haapala describes his visit.

At the centre of the varied bog there is a patch of white birch, dotted with several anthills. A pine-clad ridge, which is part of the groundwater area, rises in the northern part of the lot. The southeast edge of the lot follows the shores of a lake with a spring source.

Once the lots have been protected, they will be named Sitsapesämaa after the larger area – Čiekčábeasseeana in North Sámi.

A significant sum was donated by a private lover of the Lapland nature to purchase these areas.


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