A landscape ecological plan involves long-term planning of managed forest use towards multiple goals. It aims atharmonising the multiple uses of the forest in the best possible way. The objective is to steer forestry in such a wayas to ensure the survival of viable populations of the forest species typical of the region in natural conditions. Theplanning must cover a minimum time-span of 50 years.
The landscape ecological planning district of Valtimo is located in eastern Finland, in the northern part of theregion of North Karelia. The total area of the district is about 23,700 hectares, about 18,750 hectares of which isforest land used for commercial forestry. Most of the managed forests are less than 60 years old. The combinedarea of proposed old-growth forest protection sites and the Kuoppasuo drainage prohibition area amounts to some1,300 hectares.
In connection with the planning, field inventories were carried out covering an area of 2,100 hectares, or about 11per cent of the area of forest land belonging to the managed forests in the planning district. The natural sites weresurveyed and data collected on the amount of deadwood in them. In the most important area, bracket fungi werealso inventoried as a separate project.
On the basis of field inventories and other data, ecological corridors were planned that would connect the old-growthforest sites and act as routes by which the species inhabiting them could migrate. There are about 1,570hectares of ecological corridors and "stepping stones". About 40 per cent of this area is mature forest. The ecologicalnetwork also serves the other forest uses in the region.
The age distribution of the forests in the Valtimo district is such that the financial impact of the plan will be feltmost strongly in the first ten-year period. At first the impact on earnings will be18 per cent, but as the planningperiod progresses, the possibilities for harvesting will naturally increase and the relative financial impact willdiminish.
In drafting the landscape ecological plan for Valtimo, the principle of participatory planning has been applied. Twoevents were organised for the public and two for interest groups in the Valtimo district. In addition, a cooperationgroup consisting of the most important interest groups has met during the planning period. The project teamwishes to thank all those who participated in the planning.