Settlers from the region of Savo in Eastern Finland came to the Pudasjärvi and Taivalkoski area at the end of the 16th Century. They brought the knowledge of slash-and-burn agriculture with them. Romelehto slash-and-burn land has been in use during the 18th and 19th Century.
New settlers in Syöte learned the trade of reindeer husbandry from the Forest Sámi in the 18th Century. Reindeer meat became an important commercial good, as other uses for reindeers faded into the background. Reindeer herding co-operatives were first established at the end of the 19th Century and they are still active. Reindeers are privately owned. The calfs are earmarked in June.
The History of Land Use in Syöte
A publication on the history of land use in Syöte has been compiled using information gathered from old archives and from interviews with old residents of the area. The publication is only available in Finnish. It outlines how the area was settled, and tells about history of hunting, slash-and-burn agriculture, meadow agriculture, forestry, reindeer husbandry and tar burning. This Finnish-language publication is sold by Syöte Visitor Centre. There you can also get much more information about the area and it's history in different languages.