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Workshop paper
Timo Soininen, Forest ecology
1 (4)
27.8.2003
FORESTRY IN NATURA 2000 SITES IN FINLAND
There has been a group of professionals from the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and the Forestry Development Centre Tapio working with the Natura 2000 and forestry. The
aim of the group was to confirm the co-operation between authorities
and to quide forest management. The group published brochure about
the forestry in Nature 2000 sites in December 2002.
Basics about the forestry
Forest have to be managed according to Forest Act and Nature Conservation Act. Silvicultural recommendations, forest management guidelines and forest certification criteria also guide forest management. In
certain areas there can be other legislation requirements concerning
forest management.
Valuable habitats
Especially valuable habitats are listed in the Forest Act. The habitats,
which are in a natural state or resemble a natural state and are clearly
distinguishable from their surroundings, have to be managed in a manner that preserve the special features of the habitats.
The habitats protected under the Forest Act:
1 Immediate surroundings of springs, brooks, rivulets and small lakes.
2 Herb-rich and grassy hardwood-spruce swamps, ferny hardwoodspruce swamps, eutrophic paludal hardwood-spruce swamps and eutrophic fens located to the south of the Province of Lapland.
3 Fertile patches of herb-rich forest.
4 Heathland forest islets on undrained wetlands.
5 Gorges and ravines.
6 Steep bluffs and the underlying forest.
7 Sandy soils, exposed bedrock, boulder fields, wetlands with sparse
tree stand, flood meadows, which are less productive than nutrient-poor
heath-land forests.
Other valuable habitats are to be preserved voluntary, for instance,
according to the forest certification.
1 Habitats defined in the Forest Act, which are common in the area or
not representative enough to be protected by the Forest Act.
2 Old-growth conifer forests, mixed forests and broad-leaved forests
that are valuable for nature conservation.
3 Southern ridges, kettle holes.
4 Herb-rich swamps.
5 Wooded pasture lands and forest meadows in traditional landscapes.
Usually these valuable habitats are rather small and have low economical value. They are preserved if they are founded and recognized
properly. It means that usually the habitats are left outside of the managemnet.The valuable habitats are surveyed in several ways. The habitats are founded during forest management planning, felling planning
and with the help of special mapping project. The mapping is continuing.
Workshop paper
Timo Soininen, Forest ecology
2 (4)
27.8.2003
Landowners can get some compensation for preserving key habitats according to the Act on the Financing of Sustainable Forestry (environmental grant).
Nature Conservation Act includes three forest biotopes and six other
biotopes. The forest biotopes protected under the Nature Conservation
Act are:
1 Wild woods rich in broad-leafed deciduous species
2 Hazel woods
3 Common alder woods
Regional Environment Centre is responsible for the mapping of these
habitats. When the landowner has been informed about the habitat,
they are not allowed to alter to the extent that the preservation of their
typical features is endangered.
Landowners can get some compensation for preserving biotopes according to the Nature Conversation Act.
Other measures to maintain natural values in commercial forests
Preserving of retention trees on regeneration felling sites is the most
common way in which forestry maintains diversity within a stand in
commercial forests. It means that according to the recommendations
and guidelines in every regeneration felling site have to preserve at
least five trees per hectare.
Retention trees or group of the trees can help maintaining natural values offering special living sites for species, but usually they are more
valuable in the future. The most suitable retention trees are old trees of
aspen, goat-willow and broad-leafed deciduous species.
For water protection purposes buffer zones are left for waterways and
small water bodies. Zones maintain also natural values as living sites
and pathways for species.
For some special species there are instructions and recommendations.
For instance, it is instructed and recommended that all known sites of
threatened species have to be maintained. During the bird nesting time
it is recommended to avoid logging in fertile areas where deciduous
trees dominate. The Nature Conservation Act contains rules to preserve
nesting site of big bird of prey and includes species listing needing special protection.
The problem with the species protection is that the knowledge of the
living sites of special species in commercial forests is inadequate for the
needs of practical forestry.
The same management methods that are used in the commercial
forest are also used in those Natura 2000 sites, in which the forest management will continue.
Workshop paper
Timo Soininen, Forest ecology
3 (4)
27.8.2003
Forestry near Natura 2000 sites
When forestry practices are done just beside Natura 2000 site it is important that the management do not harm natural values of Natura
habitats or species.
Usually silvicultural management, intermediate felling, regeneration
felling, soil scarification etc. can be done just beside Natura 2000 area.
Constructing of forest road or ditch cleaning and supplementary ditching can be that kind of forest management, in which can have some influence inside the Natura 2000 area. Forest Centres usually do these
works. The work instructions demand that natural values have to be
preserved. Some of the Forest Centres have instructions that, for instance, ditch cleaning or supplementary ditching are not done with in
50 meters from the border of Natura area. According to Act on the Financing of Sustainable Forestry the plans of these works are sent to the
Regional Environment Centre in advance. Thus environmental authorities get information about the works and they can influence on the
plans and works if they notice need for improvement due to Natura site.
Sites where Natura habitats and species are maintained according to Forest Act and
Land Extraction Act
Natura 2000 values mostly match with different valuable habitats,
which are described above. They are preserved with normal forestry,
and the use of forests can continue. The valuable habitats can be
springs and eutrophic fens and other swamps, gorges or ravines etc.
Usually there occur several different valuable habitats near each other.
The Land Extraction Act protects sites, such as glacial formations (esker), bedrock and rocky sites, where extract of land resources is the
biggest treat. The valuable habitats like fertile patches of dry herb-rich
forest, southern ridges and kettle holes are preserved with the forestry.
Special species like Pulsatilla patens can occur and these sites are usually protected by Nature Conservation Act.
Forest use declaration has to be done at least 14 days before any
logging to the Forest Centre according to the Forest Act. Forest Centres
supervise forest management and use with the help of the declarations.
The declaration contains information about the felling, what kind of
felling, area in hectares, map about the felling area, information about
especially valuable habitats in the logging area etc. Forest owners have
got information about Natura areas in different ways, but there can be
owners who don’t know that the parts the forest belongs to the Natura
area. The forest owner makes the declaration usually with the help of
the forest professional from forest management association or from a
forest company which have bought the timber. Associations and companies have usually map systems in computers about the borders of
Natura areas. Most of the associations have also paper maps about the
valuable habitats surveyed by the Forest Centres.
The map system of the Forest Centres includes borders about Natura
and other conservation areas and already surveyed valuable habitats.
Workshop paper
Timo Soininen, Forest ecology
4 (4)
27.8.2003
It is highly recommended that in the declaration is also told about other
valuable habitats and that the felling is inside the Natura site and if
known also the Natura habitats or species.
Usually forest professional from the forest management association or
from a forest company makes planning of loggings and fill or help to fill
the documents (declaration). Special natural values are usually marked
in the cuttings plans and maps.
Loggings and other silvicultural management will be done taking
care of natural values. Valuable habitats, special species, nesting sites,
buffer zones etc. are also marked in the forest before the beginning of
the logging. Nowadays most of the logging machinery have GPS and
map systems in the computers.
In these areas landowners can get some compensation for preserving
valuable habitats according to the Act on the Financing of Sustainable
Forestry or in some cases according to the Nature Conversation Act.
Sites where Natura habitats and species are maintained according to Land Use and
Building Act and Nature Conservation Act
In these Natura sites also the land use and building authorities and the
environmental authorities instruct forest management. Usually it is possible that in the forests of these Natura sites the Forest Act is not applied. Then the decisions of forest management are done according the
Land Use and Building Act in the municipalities or according the Nature
Conservation Act in the Regional Environment Centres.
Landowners can get compensation for preserving Natura habitats and
species according to the Nature Conversation Act.
Timo Soininen
Forestry Development Centre Tapio
Soidinkuja 4, 00700 Helsinki, Finland
Tel. 358-9-156 2244, Mob. 358 40 513 1215
timo.soininen@tapio.fi
T:\Mluonto\Lhsuunni\Presentation about the forestry in Natura areas 280803.doc
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