International funding granted for Hiitolanjoki dam removal

Patagonia, a company producing makes eco-friendly outdoor outfits and accessories, is also an important sponsor of nature conservation projects world wide. Patagonia granted 28 000 $ for dam renovation in river Hiitolanjoki through Tides Foundation.

Thanks for Jasper Pääkkönen who communicated about our project to Patagonia’s people! Read the story how Jasper got involved to Hiitolanjoki restoration project. Read an article by Gregory Fitz / Patagonia:

How Actor Jasper Pääkkönen Advocates for Wild Fish

Application for Tides Foundation was accepted

South Karelian Foundation for Recreation Areas sent application for funding implementation of restoreation three rapids for migration fish, of which the most important species is extremely endangered Ladoga Salmon (Salmo salar m. sebago).  Patagonia’s grant is will be used mostly at the lowest of the rapids, Kangaskoski.

Hiitolanjoki river renovation project is to be put in practice by removal of three dams at old hydro power plants. The goal of the Hiitolanjoki river restoration project is to enable fish migration and salmon stock strengthening Finland. After dam removals breeding areas for the fish will be multiplied in upper areas of the watercourse. 

Ritakoski and Kangaskoski acquired ownership of South Karelia Recreation Area Foundation

Ritakoski and Kangaskoski acquired ownership of South Karelia Recreation Area Foundation

The long-prepared and negotiated acquisition of Ritakoski and Kangaskoski in Hiitolanjoki was completed on October 29th, 2019, when the South Karelia Recreation Area Foundation acquired the entire share capital of Hiitolanjoki Voima Oy. Hiitolanjoen Voima Oy is now a subsidiary of the Recreation Area Foundation.

The company owns the buildings and dam structures of the power plants and the properties on which they are located. The Hiitolanjoki river restoration project is proceeding as planned, the power dams will be dismantled and the rapids will be restored, creating plenty of new breeding ground for the Ladoga salmon and trout, and opening up free access to the extensive estuarine waters.

Restoration begins in Kangaskoski

After the design and licensing work, the dismantling of the dams will begin on the lowest barrier elevation, Kangaskoski, in 2021. Each year, work will be carried out at one of the rapids: dismantling and restoration of the Lahnasenkoski dam in 2022 and Ritakoski in 2023. Electricity production will continue at every rapid until its demolition

A multi-year project and several stakeholders in the background

In addition to the authorities, a number of foundations, associations, companies and individuals participate in the Hiitolanioki project. In the end, a state commitment ensured the completion of the project. Sipilä Government’s environmental policy – In addition to financing the project, the purchase and restoration of power plants was supported by a number of public and private donors. To date, WWF Finland and foundation Lassi Leppinen, Savings Bank of South Karelia Foundation, Municipality of Rautjärvi, Simpeleen Osuuspanki, person anonymous, Raija and Ossi Tuulainen Foundation, insurance company Lähi Tapiola, ELY Center, Union of South Karelia, Teemu Juutinen private investor, Ahti Invest  Oy and Signal Partners Oy.

More information

  • Hanna Ollikainen, Managing Director of South Karelia Recreational Area Foundation,, 0408235105
  • Matti Vaittinen, Environmental Manager of the South Karelia Federation,, +358 40 139 0173