The forest has 27 red-listed species. Photo: Jonas Nordenström

Protect the Forest has taken the initiative for an appeal which calls for withdrawal of Sveaskog’s logging plans in the natural forest at Njuonniesvarrie, near Sorsele in northern Sweden.

In a letter to the state-owned and FSC-certified company Sveaskog, the County Administrative Board and the Swedish Forest Agency, the NGO’s state:

”We call on Sveaskog to take back its planned loggings of over 100 hectares of forest”. The letter has been sent earlier this month and is signed by representatives from nine NGOs, such as the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC), Protect the Forest and Climate Action.

It is also important to protect the forest from logging for social and cultural reasons because there are few remaining natural forests left near Sorsele, most of them have already been clear-cut in all directions. Over 45 000 people have signed a petition against Sveaskog’s loggings of natural forests, such as the forest at Njuonniesvarrie in the campaign ”Vår Skog” (Our Forest) carried out by several Swedish NGOs during 2018-2019.  Over 40 species with conservation values have been found at Njuonniesvarrie, of which 27 species are red-listed. These species were registered during an inventory by the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation of Sorsele.

The NGOs state:

”It is completely unacceptable that Sveaskog’s logging plans remain in the absolute hotspot of the forest (A22699-2016) where there are finds of the endangered fungi Antrodia infirma and several other red-listed species”.

According to the Swedish Species Information Centre, forestry is the greatest threat for most of the species found in Njuonniesvarrie, here are some examples:

Antrodia infirma (EN) indicates old natural forest. Known locations must be protected and excluded from forestry.

Haploporus odorus (VU) an indicator species which grows where there are old goat willows and areas with high conservation values. All locations where Haploporus odorus is found should be protected.

Antrodia albobrunnea (VU) is a species which indicates natural pine forest with high conservation values. To maintain viable populations large areas need to be protected.

Phlebia mellea (VU) indicates old-growth forest and spruce forests with high and even humidity. Very sensitive about impacts from forestry. Its biotopes should be left for free development.  

Laurilia sulcata (VU) indicates old-growth forest and demands untouched spruce forest. Its locations should not be clear-cut and it is sensitive to forestry in its surroundings.

Chaenothecopsis fennica (NT) needs old dead pine trees. Very limited expansion outside the Nordic countries, therefore these countries have responsibility to preserve it. Forestry where it grows or nearby should be avoided.

Pseudographis pinicola (NT) lives in old-growth-like spruce forest with high and even humidity. Populations where Pseudographis pinicola are found should be treated as woodland key habitats and not clear-cut.

The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation in Sorsele has informed the Swedish Forest Agency several times about Njuonniesvarrie’s high conservation values but the Swedish Forest Agency has still not carried out a woodland key habitat inventory of the forest. There is also an unfinished FSC complaint concerning Njuonniesvarrie. Sveaskog should wait for the outcome of this before they do anything at all, states Protect the Forest. 

By Kristina Bäck