The management of timberline forest in northernmost part of Finland is strictly restricted by law in order to prevent the timberline from
receding further south.
Maintenance and increasing of the protective
functions of forests (B.7)
Owing to the flatness of the topography and the lack of mountainous
areas, forests in Finland do not have the same kind of
protective function against erosion and avalanches as they do
in many other European countries. Therefore, protective functions
mostly focus on protective forests in the timberline area in
Lapland. In the protective forest zone31, the special aim of forest
management is to prevent the retreat of the timberline and
to maintain the vitality of forests in the area.
Under the Forest Act, forests in the protection zones must be
managed with special care to prevent the timberline from retreating
Under the Government Decision on Protective Forests, the
Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla) is required to monitor
the regeneration of forests in the protective zone and in the highaltitude
areas in the Provinces of Lapland and Oulu.
The supreme administrative and executive powers in matters
pertaining to protective forests belong to the Ministry of the Environment.
Policies are implemented by Metsähallitus and the
Finnish Forestry Centre. The Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla)
monitors the regeneration of the protective forest zone and the
high-altitude forests in the Provinces of Lapland and Oulu, and
prepares a report on these every ten years for the Ministry of
Agriculture and Forestry.
Environmental protection is taken into account when planning
the management of protective forests. In the protective zone,
fellings for any other purposes than household use are only permitted
if covered by harvesting and regeneration plans specifically
approved by the relevant regional districts of the Finnish Forestry Centres .
31 The protective forest zone consists of the municipalities of Enontekiö and
Utsjoki in their entirety, and areas in the municipalities of Inari, Kittilä, Kolari,
Muonio, Salla, Savukoski and Sodankylä whose boundaries are marked in the
terrain in the land survey operation.