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UPM Promotes Esker Habitat Through Controlled Burn
Helsinki, Finland, 14 July 2006 -- UPM has carried out a controlled burn on 4 hectares of esker slope near Janakkala in southern Finland to improve the living environment of plant and insect species that inhabit the dry, warm, and sunny glades typical of esker slopes. The population levels of species favoring this type of habitat have been declining in recent years due to increasingly dense vegetation colonizing the eskers.

The burn was carried out on the lush overgrown slopes of the pine-dominated Koivistonharju esker, which was recently logged. During logging, long-term retention tree groups were created and all branches and tree tops were left behind.

The controlled burn site is part of a wider forestry and environment co-operation project titled "The present state and management of esker forests," which is funded by the Finnish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. The aim of the project is to develop methods of managing esker habitat as part of everyday commercial forest management.

UPM will immediately begin to monitor the beetles found colonizing the burned area. In addition, the Environment Centre has established vegetation sample plots to monitor the effect of the burn on plant species.

UPM owns 920,000 hectares of forest in Finland and has been maintaining and developing forestry and environmental know-how in its own forests for a long time. The company forests are actively used for education and research and the company has been implementing a biodiversity strategy since 1998.

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