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Parks and protected areas in Karelia
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According to Russian legislation national parks should contain a representative sample of important natural regions, features or scenery where plant or animal species, habitats and geomorphologic sites are of special spiritual, scientific, educational and tourist significance. They should also be large enough to contain one or more ecosystem not materially altered by current human occupation or exploitation.

In Karelia they are managed by the State Forest Committee (Goskomles) as a local unit of the Federal Forest Service (Rosleshos). At the moment there are two national parks in Karelia (Paanajärvi and Vodlozero) and four new ones are being processed following the resolution of the Federal Government in 1994.
Outline map "Pilot areas of the project "Karelia Parks Development"

Paanajärvi National Park

The northernmost pilot area of the Project is the Paanajärvi National Park located in the Louhi district. Its area is 104 371 ha. Straddling this area is the border of mid and north taiga, which converges with the ridge of the Maanselka plateau. This divides the Arctic and Atlantic flora and fauna communities
One of the main attractions of the Park is its fells.The highest point of the Park is Mt. Nuorunen - 576m. Mt. Kivakka is another summit of the Park that attracts a lot of visitors. Most of the park is covered by Spruce forest. In parts the bedrock promotes the wealth of flora.

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The highest point of the Park is Mt. Nuorunen - 576m. Mt. Kivakka is another summit of the Park that attracts a lot of visitors. Most of the park is covered by Spruce forest. In parts the bedrock promotes the wealth of flora.
Video fauna.mpg (2.1 Mb)
Video land.mpg (2.2 Mb)
Video tourist.mpg (2.1 Mb)

Tuulos National Park
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Lake Tuulos along with the picturesque rugged shoreline and numerous wooded islets and bays is located in the proposed Tuulos National Park covering an area of roughly 40000 hectares.

A number of valuable fish species inhabit the Lake: lake salmon, whitefish, vendace and grayling. Sites of primary pine and spruce forests are found in the proposed Park. These sites are remarkable for their diversified fauna and are therefore promising as related to tourism. The proposed park will be developed for hiking, fishing and water tourism.

Koitajoki National Park

The proposed National Park Koitajoki is situated in the western part of the Suojarvi District of the Republic of Karelia. The park consists of two parts - Koitajoki and Tolvajarvi. The former territory adjoins the Russian - Finnish border and covers areas along the Koitajoki river valley. The valley is a flat and heavily paludified plain. Local mires have rich typology and are intact. The most precious recreational sites are the river Koitajoki and some of the tributaries and lakes of its basin as boating routes. The Tolvajarvi partial nature reserve is the core of a system of nine lakes, which are connected to each other by channels. The abundance of eskers, islands and bays set against the lofty pine forest shores strike a note in any traveller regardless of the way they choose, by land or by water.

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Although the territory is not inhabited now, the area is rich in historic sites relating to events from the Middle Ages to World War II. The Tolvajarvi Reserve and the Koitajoki Area are connected by an ecological corridor, which is part of a buffer zone around the proposed park. Due to this, the vast area of the National Park is extended by 50 thousand hectares. Tolvajarvi and its surroundings offer good opportunities for recreation and the Koitajoki Area is for the strict protection of its nature.

Ladoga Skerries National Park
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The territory of the proposed park is located in the southwest of the Republic of Karelia on the northern shore of Lake Ladoga, Europe's largest lake.The territory of the park encompasses an archipelago with high islands and a shoreline with long deep bays which is rarely found in freshwater reservoirs.

The Park is distinguished by its exclusive diversity of flora and fauna due to the great number of different habitats and basic bedrock. The archipelago is a refuge for the Ladoga Ringed Seal. The Park is rich in monuments of history and culture and landscapes. The Park possesses all the necessary qualities for the development of both water and wilderness tourism. Video ladoga.mpg (1.6 Mb)

Kalevala National park

This proposed Kalevala National Park is located in the northwest of the republic and adjoins the Russian - Finnish border. Fennoscandia's largest and Eurasia's northernmost area of primeval pine taiga forest of distinct after-fire origin is found here.

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The famous Finnish national epic "Kalevala" was collected in the adjacent Karelian villages. The wilderness of the proposed park has always played an important role in the lives of the villages.

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