Throughout history nature has been the source of livelihood and well-being in Sea Lapland. Natural resources have enabled the development of the area to the forefront of Finnish industrial areas, and nature around us offers well-being to both residents and guests
About 15,000 years ago, the region was covered with kilometers thick glasier that pressed the earth’s crust down. After the glasier retreated, the crust has slowly rebounded. Crustal uplift is 9 mm a year which overruns the global sea lever rise (3 mm). Since the land has uplifted from the sea, it’s also very fertile.
Sea and rivers are the most distinctive features in Sea Lapland. However, the landscape is very diverse: urban and rural communities, tree-covered hills, wetlands, vast stretches of wilderness, open fields, old villages and interesting architecture.
A significant part of Lapland’s milk and meat production is produced in the Sea Lapland region. Sea Lapland’s dairy farms produce half of Lapland’s production. Similarly, beef farms produce half of the province’s total meat production. Fishing is a significant part of the area’s economy and local food at its best. In addition to the three fishy rivers, you can also fish in the sea or in the lakes. The menu of local restaurants includes meals made from local food. Berries and mushrooms come from local pickers, meat from a local farms and birds from local hunters. The salmon is guaranteed to be fresh, straight from the fisherman or a local producer. The beverages of the local brewery and distillery are made from local ingredients and fresh pure water and can be found on the menus of many restaurants. Restaurants often use local food and ingredients according to the harvest season so they are fresh for sure.
Natural resources as a raw material for industry
When the first sawmill of the region was built on island Laitakari 1862, the city of Kemi (1869) did not even exist yet. For decades to come, wood economy was the driving force behind northern Finlands development. Kemi Oy, the first paper mill in Northern Finland, was founded in 1893 and the region quickly grew into one of the most significant concentrations of the wood processing industry in Finland. Another paper mill, Veitsiluoto Oy, was established in 1932. The mills are now known as Metsä Group Oyj and Stora Enso Oyj.
Timber from Lapland’s forests was obtained by floating them along rivers to the sawmills in Kemi and Tornio. Workers arrived in Lapland from all over Finland for savotta ie felling of wood and timber floating. Work on the savotta was done during the winter from November to March. When the spring floods started, the logs were floated along the Kemi and Tornio rivers on a total of more than 7,000 kilometers of waterways. The floating ended in 1991 and there are remaining buildings and a monument in the area. Today, the trees are brought from the forests of Northern Finland by truck and train directly to the mills, and when processed, they continue their journey to the world, mostly by ship.
The ferrochrome plant in Tornio, built in the 1960s, and its chromium mine in Kemi process stainless steel. The plant is now known as Outokumpu Chrome Oyj. The Tornio plant is Europe’s largest recycling plant and produces 100% European chromium.