Lapin paliskunta is southernmost reindeer herding co-operative in the homeland of Sámi people, the only indigenous peoples in European Union.
Most of the reindeer are owned by Sámi people, living in the village Vuotso. There are over 150 reindeer owners in Lappi reindeer herding co-operative. Reindeer herding is the most important livelihood in the area, to which Sámi handicraft and other culture is closely connected. There are over 50 farms depending on reindeer herding in the area. Most of them are located in the village of Vuotso.
The pastures of Lappi reindeer herding co-operative have diminished dramatically since 1950ies because of other destructive forms of land use. The most significant changes have been the construction of two big water reservoirs (Lokka and Porttipahta) with the clearcutting of the forests connected to construction works at the same time. After construction of water reservoirs, the reindeer grazing areas have been further detoriated by large-scale logging and soil scarification by Finnish state forestry enterprise Metsähallitus.
Tourism, gold digging and other prospecting for ore have also disturbed the reindeer herding livelihood. Loss and weakening of the pastures have resulted in considerable economical losses for the reindeer owners.
Peurakaira is a winter grazing area of crucial importance for the reindeer of Lappi reindeer herding co-operative.
"The state-owned lands on the north side of the border marked on the map included in this Act, are areas especially designated for reindeer herding.
Background and more information: read more about conflict between reindeer herding and forestry: http://www.pefcwatch.org/sami/index.html