In accordance with the rules of conservation, the conservation objective of the protected area is to protect, preserve and introduce the meltwater valley of the middle course of the Ahja River, its additional valleys, the sandstone outcrops, springs and caves on the slopes of the valley, the cultural and natural landscape surrounding the meltwater valley and to protect endangered, rare and protected species and their habitats.
- rivers and streams (3260)3
- flood-meadows (6450)
- non-calcareous species-rich meadows (6270*)
- springs and spring fens (7160)
- sandstone outcrops (8220)
- old-growth forests (9010*)
- Protected species
- thick shelled river mussel (Unio crassus)
- spined loach (Cobitis taenia)
- European bullhead (Cottus gobio)
- green snaketail (Ophiogomphus cecilia)
- Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
- witches cauldron (Sarcosoma globosum)
- Pleurospermum austriacum
- smooth crosswort (Cruciata glabra)
- common kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)
All work is planned on the basis of the development document of the protected area – the management plan of the Ahja River valley landscape protection area, the Eoste special conservation area and partially the Ahja River special conservation area.
The protected area is divided into two special management zones and two limited management zones.
The regime of the special management zone is required to ensure the habitats of protected species and the natural development of forest communities as well as to ensure the characteristic features of the forest and preserve semi-natural biotic communities. A list of permitted and prohibited activities in limited management zones is included in the rules of conservation.
The conservation objective of the special management zone of the Ahja River (388.9 ha) is to ensure the development of the old-growth forest as a natural process, preserve bedrock outcrops, reliefs and springs, conserve semi-natural biotic communities and protect of the habitats of protected species.
The conservation objective of the special management zone of Taevaskoja (44.3 ha) is to conserve characteristic forest features, preserve bedrock outcrops, reliefs, springs and semi-natural biotic communities and protect the habitats of protected species.
The conservation objective of the limited management zone of the Ahja River (613.2 ha) is to conserve biodiversity, preserve characteristic landscape features and elements, conserve meadow communities and protect the habitats of species.
The conservation objective of the limited management zone of Valgemetsa (69.1 ha) is to preserve characteristic landscape features.
The rules of conservation permit:
- staying in the protected area, hunting, fishing, picking berries, mushrooms and other forest by-products throughout the protected area;
- driving a vehicle or an off-road vehicle on designated roads. Driving a vehicle or an off-road vehicle outside designated roads is permitted for supervision and rescue work, work permitted by the rules of conservation, work related to the organisation of protection and administration of the protected area, research activities carried out with the consent of the manager of the protected area as well as for work performed for the maintenance of line facilities in the limited management zone during forestry or agricultural work and on yard land;
- camping and making a fire only in places intended for this purpose and approved and marked by the manager of the protected area. Camping and making a fire on yard land is permitted with the consent of its owner;
- public events in the protected area with up to 50 participants in locations not intended for this purpose. Organisation of events with more than 50 participants in locations not intended for this purpose is only permitted with the consent of the manager of the protected area; and
- maintenance of existing construction works (including roads, bridges and power lines).
It is prohibited in the protected area to:
- drive a floating craft with an internal combustion engine, except for supervision, research and rescue work and for activities related to the organisation of administration and protection as well as on the Saesaare reservoir, where driving is permitted from 15 June to 30 September with a floating craft with an engine of up to 15-horsepower at a speed of up to 7 kilometres per hour.
Without the consent of the manager of the protected area, it is prohibited to:
- change the boundaries of the areas of the land use types and the intended use thereof;
- prepare a land readjustment plan and to perform land readjustment activities;
- establish a detailed plan and a comprehensive plan;
- grant consent for the construction of small construction works, including a boat landing;
- issue design criteria;
- issue building permits;
- create a new body of water with a surface area larger than five square metres if it does not require a permit for the special use of water, a building permit or consent for the construction of small construction works; and
- additionally feed wild game.