Permanent Residences

Reindeer husbandry is based on free grazing right. This has been secured through legislation with certain limitations. Reindeer have a right to stay or get food of an area irrespective of land ownership or possession rights. However, reindeer must be kept so that they will not cause damage to sapling stands in forest regeneration areas or cause any other unnecessary damage to agriculture or forestry (Reindeer Husbandry Act 3 § and 31 §.

Freely grazing reindeer are in the control of the reindeer herding cooperative and they are responsible of the damage they may cause.

The reindeer husbandry area is divided into three different parts: Sámi reindeer husbandry area, an area especially designated for reindeer husbandry and other reindeer husbandry area. In the two first ones, reindeer herding as a source of livelihoods has a particularly significant role. Hence, there are special decrees in the legislation directed to protect particularly these special areas.

Outside the Sami residential areas reindeer must also be kept so that they cannot trespass on gardens, yards of permanent residences, or other areas that have been put to use for a special purpose (Reindeer Husbandry Act 31 §).

If reindeer are met in an area, where they can cause damage, the person who is likely to suffer from it should contact the Chief of District. They are responsible of making sure that reindeer are taken away from the area. If reindeer have caused damages, the parties involved negotiate on the evaluation of the damage, compensations and on prohibiting the future damages. If there is no agreement reached in the negotiations, the issue can be taken to valuation committee.

The fencing obligation does not include leisure time apartments. In the Sámi residential area it involves only agriculture and forestry areas.


Contacts to the Chiefs of Districts