In April 2021, a group of citizens initiated a proposal to establish a national park in the Aalistunturi region, situated within the municipalities of Pello and Kolari.
The idea of establishing a national park in Aalistunturi is not a recent one. It was first proposed during a forest management association meeting in 1902. At that time, there was a suggestion for a vast national park extending from Pello to Lake Sieppijärvi in Kolari.
However, it took 120 years for the demands for protecting the area to resurface. Today, there is support for Aalistunturi National Park from various organizations and volunteer groups, potentially making the opportunity for its establishment higher than ever before.
Aalistunturi.fi strives to be the voice for citizens, organizations, and different groups in promoting the progress of Aalistunturi National Park.
The establishment of a national park in Western Lapland is crucial to ensure the preservation of biodiversity and the migration of species for future generations.
The proposal for Aalistunturi National Park, located on the border of Kolar and Pello municipalities, emerged from a pressing need. Concerns about the decline in biodiversity, along with the impact of climate change, have become significant threats to humanity.
Currently, the high-risk area of Western Lapland lacks a comprehensive and legally protected nature conservation area of sufficient size to ensure the preservation of the region’s diverse natural environment and facilitate species migration towards the north, in response to changing climate conditions.
While the Finnish Forest Administration (Metsähallitus) has been striving to improve its practices to better address biodiversity, this alone does not guarantee positive progress in the future. It is essential to establish enduring solutions that are independent of political fluctuations.
The Aalistunturi area holds great importance for various activities and livelihoods related to outdoor pursuits. It is utilized for activities such as berry picking, hunting, fishing, outdoor recreation, and other nature-based hobbies.
In terms of topography, the area features elevations ranging from 160 to 370 meters above sea level. Due to its historical land use, the old forests of the Aalistunturi region are primarily located on the slopes of hills, steep ridges, and along water bodies and wetlands. The hill slopes are abundant with small water bodies, lush marshes, and cascading water streams.
The magic lies in the boundary. The Aalistunturi region forms a cohesive catchment area with its beautiful headwaters and streams. As such, it resembles a hidden valley.
The proposed Aalistunturi National Park is situated on the border of Kolar and Pello municipalities, encompassing areas from both regions.
The vast majority of the designated area consists of state-owned forests, with only two privately owned forest parcels remaining within the boundaries. One of these parcels serves as a central hub for the Kolari reindeer herding cooperative.
What makes the Aalistunturi National Park initiative truly enchanting is its carefully delineated boundary. It encompasses an entire catchment area, complete with its pristine headwater streams and serene lake basins, rendering it truly exceptional in various aspects.
From a scenic standpoint, the park forms a captivating valley-like landscape, hosting a harmonious and self-contained ecosystem characteristic of dense forests.
The proposed area for the Aalistunturi National Park includes a significant portion of Kolar municipality’s untouched lakes and ponds, featuring rugged shores and natural serenity.
Adding to its allure is the park’s location at the confluence of two distinct vegetation zones: peatlands and forests. This convergence further enhances the ecological significance and richness of the area.