The logging company Mellanskog plans to log a spruce and pine forest with the vulnerable fungi Sarcosoma globosum (VU), also known as witches cauldron, at Ångvasslan north of Skattungbyn in the county of Dalarna, Sweden. Several red-listed species and indicator species have been found in the forest. Now the forest group in the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation in Orsa requests that the County Administrative Board protects the area and connects it to the nearby nature reserve Långtjärn.

Den fridlysta och sårbara bomburklan (VU). Foto: Bengt Oldhammer.
The protected and vulnerable Sarcosoma globosum grows in the felling-notified forest at Ångvasslan in Dalarna.

The forest at Ångvasslan, which runs from the Koppången nature reserve all the way down to the river Oreälven, is very important for biodiversity and the green infrastructure in the landscape. A felling next to the river in the vicinity of the current felling notification has already resulted in the disappearance of 35 specimens of the Sarcosoma globosum. Now the new logging threatens to destroy the remaining presence.

– We are concerned that the forest will be logged as there is a lack of money in the state’s budget for protection. This is a direct effect of the anti-nature government which has sharply cut funding for the protection and management of valuable nature in the next three years, write Anton Björk, Peter Turander and Bengt Oldhammer in the forest group in Orsa in their request to the County Administrative Board.

Sarcosoma globosum is protected in Sweden and on the IUCN global red list.

Sarcosoma globosum is a ground-living fungus that is protected in Sweden and listed on the IUCN global red list. Of all premises in Europe, most are in Sweden. Here, it is estimated to have recently decreased by 30 percent and is red-listed as vulnerable (VU). According to the Species Protection Ordinance, it is illegal to damage its environment. Sweden has a special responsibility for preserving the species.

A larger area at Ångvasslan is described in the Society for Nature Conservation’s report “The last  natural forests in Orsa”. Although only occasional visits were made to parts of the area, more than 40 red-listed species and indicator species were found. The Society for Nature Conservation’s forest group in Orsa has distributed its inventory report “The last natural forests in Orsa” to the logging company Mellanskog, to other forest owners and authorities.

Sarcosoma globosum does not hinder Mellanskog.

– Despite all the information, Mellanskog is still planning to log the forest. The presence of Sarcosoma globosum apparently does not stop Mellanskog. We would like to point out that neither the Swedish Forest Agency, the County Administrative Board Dalarna, Mellanskog nor the landowner have made any inventories of the area. It cannot be the case that that responsibility should rest on non-profit efforts. The least one can ask for is that forests that are to be thinned or felled will be inventoried, writes the Society for Nature Conservation forest group in Orsa in its request to the County Administrative Board.

The forest group continues:

– We are very critical. We hope that the political parties in Orsa act and help protect the area at Ångvasslan.

Read the Nature Conservation Association Orsa’s forestry group’s report (in Swedish).