There is really nothing in the Finnish forest or waters that is dangerous. We bring that with us

Yesterday a walk through forest to river. This forest lies between our place and the river.  I was looking for a remoter place by the water for ceremony work. I know Ahlström Family/Ltd had been around in the area thinning, yet, well, how do four-leggeds get through this? 


If we have ”every ones rights” to be in the forest- to pick berries and mushrooms, walk, wonder etc. then What IS THIS? 


This ground is just centimetres above the river flow. Is there a coming storm of machines? What are the plans? How long do we have and the forest and water dwellers have?


While walking I mused. I was imagining Ahlström gently clearing out all the trimmed trees (risut), folk coming in and collecting wood for their own use…Letting the land be. Imagining them and the village folk making it part of the nature walk here (#Kukuljärvi). 


Because of their mess- it means almost 99% sure they are getting ready to clear-cut the forest. Finnish forest industry #Metsä Liitto, #UPM, #StoraEnso, #MetsäGroup #Tornator and their minions (sub-contractors) know of only one method: all down- a few ”seed trees”, maybe a few bug trees… a thin stand along the bank of the river for aesthetics. The ground torn up, bugs and pollinator homes destroyed, bird habitat demolished, plants and fungi and mosses destroyed. I wonder if they will research who and what lives in this biodiversity? I saw one print of the planning commission when we bought our place of making most of the waterways here in #Ruotsinpyhtää #Stromförs #Kymenjoki #Kymenlaakso part of #Natura programme. Very typical to come in and do clearing of forests (money) before status granted. The “big owners” in North Karelia did the same with the Koli region.

The land here is wet, not quite bog- think old lake bed. In the 50s animals were given free roam. One man who was on the Kukuljärvi path and passing through while we were sawing a storm-felled tree said he remembers sheep and running between here and the river. Well, that would be wonderful and welcome – a different type of biodiversity. Not just torn up earth and disaster area for more than a generation (I count 33 years). There are many different tree, bushes, mosses, flowers, birds, -it is teaming with Life! Before the small dam was put up (about 6km as the crow flies) this branch of the Kymen river was the land of rocks and rapids to the sea. There are some local historians who have collected photos and stories of those times. Very, very interesting.

Ahlström went around and bought up many strategically placed independent sawmills, electric production or ironworks along rapids in Finland. He (they) bought large tracts of land around these places. They also broke them, sold parts off, closed them down almost immediately. Villages died; mills, ironworks, own energy – workers and families all lost their livelihoods. They still own great tracks of land. This village is enveloped by and on their lands. They are one of the oldest families still carrying on since the days of Swedish rule. Interesting family tree – all the marriages between upper class, family holdings yet the founder of this 150 yr old dynasty was fortunate, smart, not highly educated, married well and in the writings appear humble. However, how he was able to buy up whole sawmills/ironworks/villages/homesteads is beyond me. Where on earth did he get the funding back in the 1800s? Anyway, back to the forest back-yard.

And coming upon All of the human history: our abandoned row-boats (no problem if wood- this one ain’t), weirs, docks, sheds…maybe diring the time when Ruotsinpyhtää was its own commune, before it joined Loviisa. Maybe the former decision-makers of Ruotsinpyhtää and current Loviisa decision makers can come and clean this up? I say decision makers because they were the ones to give orders… well, the ones who did were doing “ their job”. Ruotsinpyhtää fused with Loviisa. 

As for Ahlstöm, I dont know where to begin. I have heard a few stories- not much to my liking. The village is literally – a great portion is on their land. We are beholden. Even if we own our own bit. We need cooperation. We need methods and means of keeping ever reducing natural habits from disappearing. 


Winter cutting of trees, with lumberjacks and old horse drawn sledge vs a harvester john deere (a big employer here in Finland) coming in and tearing up the land. A village project with school- museum cooperation? Buying the land off through the Luonnonperintösäätiö (Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation) or  Luonnonsuojelun Säätiö? 


And if they chop that down how will it effect the water levels on our plot? We already have a small willow-filled pond here- the water level is same as the river.


In the end I found some nice spots but access is so difficult and dangerous. Dangerous to walk through the woods because of humans. There is really nothing in the Finnish forest or waters that is dangerous. We bring that with us and our own stupidity and short-sightedness, our dominion over-mentality, and a Mother-less heart married with a Father-wounded heart.

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