Save a forest in the Hitis archipelago, Finland

About us


Welcome and thank you for being here. We are a small group of people in the Hitis - Rosala archipelago, who are trying to save some natural forest environment on our home islands. Vi want to work for biodiversity on the islands, forest left in their natural state and for how humans could be in nature without harming it. There are very few primal forests left on the islands, after an aggressive forest harvesting program the natural forests can now be counted on one hand. And our goal is to protect them. And we want to work for more forest to be left in natural state. We will do this by informing forest owners, about how they can protect their forest for compensation.We also want to spread information about nature's positive impact on human health. About how man is a part of nature, and what happens to us when we get to be near untouched forests, moss, archipelago cliffs and water. We hope this will be an opportunity for everyone in the future as well.

Collaboration partners: The association Föreningen Konstsamfundet r.f. Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation fr. Forestry Center Kemera. The Metso programs. 

The Association: Hitis & Rosala Nature conservation.
We are a non profit, environmental organization.
Our goals are: Protecting forests and archipelago environments in the old Hitis municipality area.
Improving Health and Wellness through Access to Nature.
Spreading information about different possibilities for forest owners to protect their forests and be compensated for it.
Board members: Heidi Fihlman, Hanna Vuorio-Wilson, Julia Fihlman-Granholm.

The forest now and before


The forest now and before
Do you remember the forest of your childhood?

25 years ago, the islands still consisted mostly of forests in natural state. It was difficult and expensive to practice forestry as the ferries did not take larger cars, or cars at all, in any large amount. The villagers managed their forests themselves. They took firewood and timber as needed, in such a way that biodiversity and natural forest environment remained. Summerguests came here to relax and enjoy the tranquility, here were few people and much nature. Berries and mushroom pickers could walk for several hours from place to place.

Hitis and Rosala have an area of about 12 km² (* karttapaikka)

A small part of this has long been the villages themselves, and then some dwellings with associated land between the villages in the forest. And the rest were cliffs, forests and marshes in a natural state.

Of this, only about 53 hectares (0.53 km²) of forests are left in its natural state. (* We came to this conclusion by surrounding the natural forests on the map at karttapaikka webpage).

In 1994, the new ferry Aura began to operate between Kasnäs and Långnäs, which led to a lot of improvements on the islands. At that time, forestry was also greatly facilitated.
We now have numerical areas were forest has been completly clearcut on the islands, and the rest is young economy forest, thinned and plowed so that moss, lingonberry and other vegetation in the forest is destroyed, or otherwise thinned in such a way that it is difficult to move in the forest.

The forest owner has the right to make all decisions regarding his property, this is as it should be. The forest owner is also entitled to all information before making these very important decisions. It is a responsibility to have the power to decide.
When contact occurs between the forest owner and a forestry company, all alternatives should be discussed. Especially if it is not an economy forest. Many people cut down their forest because they think they have to follow the forestry plan, or because they need income to pay, for example, taxes. You do not have to follow the forestry plan, it is voluntary. And you don't have to cut down your old favorite forest to pay the inheritance tax. If you want, you have other possibilities. :)


A new situation for our islands.


From having had almost exclusively forests in natural condition, or very lightly thinned forests that the owner managed himself, we now have a completely new and unique situation for the forests on Hitis and Rosala.

And the only thing that never changes is that everything changes. But it is up to us to decide how.

Maybe we can find a middle ground somewhere between improved economic opportunities for forestry, and improved economic opportunities to save natural forest? Maybe the vision can be both thinned economic forests that grow between harvesting, and that we manage to save the forests in natural conditions that give our islands beauty and and a unique natural value? The primeval forest that grows out on archipelago islands are not abundant in the world. It can give us international status and tourists who seek the unspoiled nature.

It can also give us something as humans. If you have chosen to live in the archipelago, it is probably at least to some extent because you appreciate living in close proximity to nature, and you are proud of our islands. Let's take care of them together.

The future?


At present, the forest areas are largely in transition between the older and younger generation, and due to inheritance tax, a lot of land is sold or forests are harvested and sold. Forest and beach areas are also sold to tourists and summerguests, as demand for summer cottages in the archipelago is high. We are now competing with all this.


If we do not succeed in creating some kind of nature-protected area on the islands, there will probably be no natural forests in the future, just a few economic forests. But mostly the islands will be built on land. And there will be no areas adjacent to the sea at all, bordering forests or undeveloped land. They will all be sold as plots for privately built summer cottages.

Why would any landowner choose to save forest and beach just for the sake of the forest and nature? Most people will sooner or later choose profit, for financial need or otherwise of practical reasons. If we could find a way for the forest owner to protect his forest, and get the same financial benefits? It is now that we, together, should create an area on the islands that always remains in natural state. So that we can be sure that everyone in the future will have access to a forest where everyone is allowed. And a beach cliff that no one owns, where our grandchildren can sit in peaceful solitude and watch the sunset, with a big whispering forest behind them, as we have always been able to do.


The archipelago in Finland is unique. And the islands in it are usually small and close to each other. The nature and biodiversity we have here is found nowhere else. Right now the islands are in transition. We hope to save some of our natural forests and islands for the future.

The future?

What we can help with


What we can help with
Do you have a forest you like, and have left outside modern forestry. As we always used to do in the archipelago, you may have taken care of it yourself, taken some firewood to your home and largely kept an eye on it. You may think it is your responsibility to take care of it for future generations of archipelago residents.

We can find out what alternatives are available for you and your forest. Then once you have received all the information, you can independently decide what feels right for you.

You have probably heard that you have the opportunity to protect the forest for a certain number of years, or to sell it completely to a nature conservation organization at fair value.

What you do not know, without contacting these agencies, is if your forest has sufficient biodiversity to fit into their program, or exactly what sums they offer you to protect your forest for a certain amount of time. Or which organization might be interested in buying it and for what sums. Or what you end up paying tax on, and what counts as tax-free income. This you can easily find out for yourself, but if you want we will help.

Protect your forest for compensation


We in the association Hitis & Rosala Nature Conservation, are archipelago residents ourselves, and we believe in the forest owner's right to decide and make decisions about his property.

Therefore, we have listed here only methods that are 100% based on the forest owner volunteering. Agencies that pay proper compensation, or who offer to buy forest areas at market value.

If you have a forest that you like, and would like to keep in natural state, then you have several different alternatives for compensation.


Metso

You can make a temporary conservation for a set number of years:
You can make an agreement with the NTM Central to protect the forest for 20 years, then the compensation is tax-free for private forest owners. Then you remain the owner and when the protection period ends, you can decide whether you want to continue protecting the forest for additional compensation, or if you want to end the program.
-You can make an environmental support agreement with the Forestry Center Kemera for 10 years. On this environmental support, the forest owner pays capital tax. You remain the owner but promise not to cut down the forest for a set time.

You can also choose a permanent conservation, and make your forest a nature conservation area:
Of course, with a permanent protection, the compensation is greater. You can choose to preserve the area with the help of the NTM central, but remain the owner, and then the compensation is tax-free. Or you can choose to completely sell the area to the NTM central for normal value, and then the deal is tax-free for the forest owner.

Metso is particularly interested in forests where there are plenty of forests with different species of plantlife, wetlands, and older largely untouched forests. But all forests can be of interest if they are not recently harvested, and there is some biodiversity left.

Read more about the Metso programs here.

It is easy to fill in a form via the web and ask for a quote for preserving your forest, you do not commit to anything. You are also very welcome to contact us, and we will help you to get more information.


Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation fr

A private foundation whose purpose is to protect old forests. Founded in 1995, they have protected 104 forest areas. They buy forests of interest at market value, and protect them through the Nature Conservation Act. Forests have dual protection through the Nature Conservation Act and the Foundations statutes. The foundation functions 100% through donations.
They are very interested in buying old forests in Southern Finland, as most of their protected forests are higher up in Finland. More about them ​here.​​​
Protect your forest for compensation

Contact us


  • Hitis & Rosala Nature conservation.
  • Kyrkbacksvägen 23 B, 25940 Hitis, Finland

Quotes


Statutes


Statutes
Statutes

1. The name and place of residence of the association.
Name: Hitis & Rosala Nature conservation
Place of residence: 25940 Hitis, Finland.


2. The association's purpose and forms of activity.
2.1. Purpose: To work on the islands in the old Hitis municipality area, for biodiversity and forest in natural state.
2.2. Activities: Spreading information about various nature conservation programs. And to spread information about the general positive impact of nature.



3. Members are approved by the association's board of directors on application.


4. The association has no membership fees.


5. Board.
The affairs of the association are handled by the board which has a chairman and 2-8 other ordinary members as well as 0-8 deputies who are all appointed at the annual meeting. The term of office of the Board is the time between the annual meetings. The Board of Directors elects a Deputy Chairman and appoints a secretary, a treasurer and other necessary officials within or outside of them. The Board meets at the notice of the Chairman or, if this is prevented, at the notice of the Deputy Chairman when they deem it necessary or when at least half of the members of the Board so require. The Board of Directors decides when at least half of its members, the Chairman or the Vice Chairman, are present. The votes are decided by an absolute majority. If the votes fall evenly, the chairman's vote determines; however, the election determines the lot.


6. Signing of the name of the association.
The name of the association is signed by the chairman of the board, vice chairman, secretary or treasurer, individually.


7. Accounting period.
The association's accounting period includes a calendar year.


8. Meetings of the Association.
When the board or association's meeting so decides, participation in the association's meeting is also possible by post, by computer communication or by any other technical means before or during the meeting. The Association's annual meeting is held annually on a date determined by the Board in January-May. At the association's meetings, each member has one vote. Unless otherwise decided in the statutes, the meeting's decision applies to the opinion which has been supported by more than half of the votes cast. If the votes fall evenly, the meeting chair's vote determines, however, in the election, the lottery decides.


9. Notice of meetings of the association.
The Board shall convene the meetings of the Association no later than one day before the meeting by sending a notice of invitation to each member by post, telephone message or e-mail.


10. Annual Meeting.
At the annual meeting of the association, the following matters are dealt with:
10.1. the meeting opens.
10.2. election of meeting chair, secretary, two minutes adjusters and, if necessary, two voters
10.3. the legality and decision-making of the meeting is noted.
10.4. the agenda for the meeting is approved.
10.5. financial statements, annual report and the opinion of the business auditors / auditors are presented
10.6. decisions are made regarding the adoption of financial statements and the granting of discharge from liability for the Board and other accountable persons.
10.7. the business plan, budget and the size of the connection and membership fees are determined.
10.8. election of the Chairman of the Board and other members of the Board.
10.9. election of one or two business auditors and their alternate / their alternates or an auditor or two auditors and their alternate / their alternates.
10.10. other matters mentioned in the notice of meeting.
If a member of the association wants a matter to be dealt with at the annual meeting of the trustee, he or she must notify the board in writing in sufficient time that the matter can be included in the notice of meeting.


11. Amendment of statutes and dissolution of association.
Decisions to amend the statutes and dissolution of the association shall be made at the association's meeting with at least three-quarters (3/4) majority of the votes cast in the vote. The statute change or dissolution of the association must be stated in the notice of the meeting. If the association dissolves, the association's assets are used to promote the association's purpose in a manner that is determined by the meeting that decides on the resolution. If the association is dissolved, its assets are used for the same purpose.