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One of the forests with high conservation values in Ore Forest Landscape. Photo: Sebastian Kirppu.

Gåsberget in Ore Forest Landscape in the county of Dalarna in Sweden is one of northwest Europe’s largest and most valuable natural pine forest landscapes. The area needs urgent protection. But unfortunately, its conservation values are not emphasized enough in the project "Green infrastructure at Gåsberget’s High Value Forest Landscape”, which is a collaboration between the County Administrative Board, the Swedish Forest Agency, the forestry companies Sveaskog and Stora Enso and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU). The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC) is an environmental organization that has surveyed the forests there but have been excluded from the project.

All forestry should be carried out with consideration at Gåsberget, according to the publication "Green infrastructure at Gåsberget’s High Value Forest Landscape” from the County Administrative Board. The organization Protect the Forest states that protection of the forest at Gåsberget is not emphasized enough. Forests with high conservation values in Sweden should not be logged at all, according to the organization, which is an approach in line with scientific research and national and international environmental goals.

Protect the Forest states that it is unacceptable that the County Administrative Board and the Swedish Forest Agency do not stand up for our environmental goals and that they exclude The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC), with about 230 000 members, from the project. SSNC has a legitimate common interest in the forest. There is about 20% old natural pine forest with a history of forest fires left in Ore Forest Landscape. Very few such landscapes remain in the Swedish lowlands below the mountain region, which makes Gåsberget and Ore Forest Landscape unique.

During 2013 and 2017 SSNC carried out solid surveys in Ore Forest Landscape. They mapped out where forests with high conservation values are situated and registered which species are found there. But Ore Forest Landscape is not even mentioned in the publication from the County Administrative Board. Furthermore, the board does not refer to SSNC’s surveys other than briefly as ”voluntary conservation work which calls for more protection in the area and setting aside forests from logging”. SSNC has not been invited to take part in the County Administrative Board’s collaboration project.

Read more about Protect the Forest’s views about the content in the County Administrative Board’s publication (in Swedish) ”Projektet Grön infrastruktur i Gåsbergets värdetrakt - Delredovisning om motiv, målsättningar och utkast till metodik” (2019) here.