Kone Foundation wants to protect the Sanginjoki forest in Oulu

Kone Foundation has made a purchase offer on the Sanginjoki forest in Oulu and has promised to support the Loppulan Ystävät association, which wants to take responsibility for the renovation and maintenance of the forest ranger’s house in the area. The Foundation’s offer concerns the as yet unprotected part of the Sanginjoki forest, which totals approximately 1,440 hectares. If the offer is accepted, the Foundation will donate the forest free of charge to the Finnish State for the purpose of establishing a nature reserve.

It is Kone Foundation’s special wish that the Finnish State establish a national park in the area. In addition, if the offer is accepted, Kone Foundation will grant conditional support of EUR 345,000 to the Loppulan Ystävät (“The Friends of Loppula”) association for the purchase and refurbishment of the Loppula forest ranger’s house located in the area. The association has committed itself to renovating the building and developing it into a nature centre for the nature reserve.

The Sanginjoki forest is a continuous wooded area of 2,600 hectares owned by the City of Oulu and located about 16 kilometres east of the city centre. Oulu received the forest as a gift from the King of Sweden when the city was founded in 1605. The area was used for forestry until 2004. For the past 16 years, the use of the forest has been the single largest nature conservation issue in the Oulu region.

In the summer 2020, the City of Oulu established a 1,127 hectare nature reserve in the area adding 793 hectares of new nature reserve to the conservation areas of Isokangas (331 ha) and Asmonkorpi (2.5 ha), which were founded already in 1987. The rest of the forest – the part that Kone Foundation is seeking to buy – continued to be used for forestry.

Apart from the dry Isokangas area and the fairly dry, pine-dominant coniferous forests of its western parts, the Sanginjoki forest is characterised by its wooded mires and the spruce-dominant woods that are atypical in the Oulu region. The area is home to the last Siberian jays in the Oulu region, and several territories inhabited by red-flanked bluetails have been observed there in the summer of 2020. The nature values of the area are well known.

Founded in 1956, Kone Foundation is an independent and unaffiliated organisation that, through its grants, supports academic research, culture and art, as well as bringing research and art to different audiences. The Foundation also maintains the Saari Residence for artists and researchers in Mynämäki and the Lauttasaari Manor residence in Helsinki. In 2017, the Foundation established the 130 hectare Kulla Nature Reserve on Kimitoön in Southwest Finland. Through forest procurement and conservation, the Foundation aims to protect biodiversity and to compensate for any environmental damage caused by its activities.