The overlapping land use of reindeer husbandry and forestry – both important livelihoods in the boreal forest zone in northern Finland – has led to disputes between the two land use forms for over a hundred years. For the purposes of this study, we conducted a literature review on the impacts of forestry on reindeer husbandry and the impacts of reindeer husbandry on forestry. We examined reindeer husbandry and forestry practitioners’ perspectives on the impacts of forestry measures on reindeer husbandry and on the relations of forestry and reindeer husbandry. To achieve a holistic understanding of and new perspectives on these issues, scientific knowledge was combined with practitioners’ knowledge gathered via a survey, and both archival and recent data sources were utilized. The study showed that a number of conventional forestry measures decrease either the number, surface area and/or the quality of reindeer pastures, which causes mostly unfavorable impacts on reindeer husbandry. The impacts of reindeer husbandry on commercial forests were regarded either as detrimental or beneficial, but mostly marginal. The relations between reindeer husbandry and forestry have improved during the past decades mainly due to the development of a consultation procedure between representatives of state forestry and reindeer husbandry.The study pointed to a need for establishing a corresponding, although voluntary, consultation procedure to private and joint forest ownership. In order to better adapt to the requirements of reindeer husbandry, forestry should take measures aiming at e.g. uneven-aged forest structure, saving of old-growth trees, harvesting of logging residue from the most terricolous lichen-rich sites, light soil preparation and natural regeneration. Planned forest sector investments in bioeconomy were regarded by respondents as somewhat positive, since growing demand for wood could mean more effective thinnings of young forests, which, in turn, would improve the preconditions of both forestry and reindeer husbandry. At the same time, the reindeer herders of our study were afraid that the development would lead to the loss of the last old-growth forests rich in epiphytic lichens –critically important winter pastures of reindeer.
- Muut maataloustieteet (ml. poronhoito)