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In Oskarshamn biodiversity is being wiped out by the Municipality’s Forest Manager

Few forests, trees and bushes are left to thrive in the Municipality of Oskarshamn, County of Småland in Sweden, instead they are cut down. Now the Forestry Officials in Oskarshamn’s Municipality have been reported to the Police because they have cut down old spruces along the river- Döderhultsbäcken, in the middle of the brown trout’s spawning season. But the Municipality’s officials believe they have done the right thing.

The Municipality of Oskarshamn felled healthy spruce trees along the river “Döderhultsbäcken” and thereby destroyed the habitat for brown trout (Salmo trutta) and violated the FSC certification. Photo: Jan Brenander

The Forest Group in the ornithologist club “Oskarshamnsbygdens Fågelklubb” say that the Municipality is depleting the biodiversity in Oskarshamn. This despite the fact that the Municipality is both FSC and PEFC certified, Jan Brenander in the Forest Group comments:

– Removing bushes, sawing down dead birches and turning conifers into tall stumps in urban areas is like a disease that comes from large-scale forestry. Dead trees are picked out by the Municipality to be sold as firewood, for example from a thinning of a forest in Kristineberg that was carried out a few months ago.

100-year-old spruces were cut down along the river

Recently, Oskarshamn’s Municipality’s Forest Manager has cut down 100-year-old spruce trees which grew next to the river “Döderhultsbäcken”, according to an article in Oskarshamn’s newspaper, OT. The Forestry Group in the ornithology club are very critical of this. Gunnar Westling, chairman of the Climate Group in Oskarshamn, has reported the violation to the Police and believes that the felling of spruce along the river is completely unjustified. The Association of the Young Sea Trouts (Havsöringens ynglingar) are also very critical of the fact that the Municipality felled the trees in the middle of the brown trout’s spawning period.

The sign at the river is placed just where the spruces have been cut down. The sign explains the importance of watercourses for the fish and that the species in the water need shade. The river Döderhultsbäcken has recently been restored, for the sake of the brown trout (Salmo trutta). Photo: J Brenander

The fish roe was crushed

– The fish roe was crushed by boots, branches and logs, said Mathias Sabel in the Association of the Young Sea Trouts (Havsöringen ynglingar) to the paper Oskarshamn’s Tidningen. He said that it really feels like they’ve been talking to deaf ears all these years when they have tried to communicate with the Municipality. “They run their own race and completely ignore the existing laws and regulations”.

The reason why the fish thrived is that the current part of the river “Döderhultsbäcken” was shaded by the trees. Mathias Sabel said in the article that the stretch where they felled the trees is Kalmar county’s second best habitat for spawning brown trout. The river held an astonishingly large number of spawn each year, according to the Young Sea Trouts.

Here it is clear that the trees were not in bad condition, they were healthy right down to the core. Despite FSC certification, the municipality cut the trees down. Photo: Jan Brenander

“The trees were in poor condition”

Officials at the Technical Office in Oskarshamn’s Municipality believe that the trees were in poor condition and that they therefore needed to be cut down. They also admit that they were going to have a dialogue with the Association of The Young Sea Trout before felling the trees, but that it never happened. According to Gunnar Westling, who reported the violation to the Police, the trees were in good condition. He says he is pretty sure the Municipality cut the trees down because residents in the area had complained about too much shade. The forestry in the Municipality has become more and more aggressive, he says. This applies above all to the state-owned company Sveaskog but also to the Municipality’s own forestry.

Sources: Barometern

Read also: One third of water in the forest lacks edge zones after clear-cutting