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SCA has logged a forest with very high conservation values ​​- a violation of FSC, the Environmental Code and the Species Protection Ordinance

The FSC-certified forest company SCA has clear-cut forest with very high conservation values ​​at Orrmyrarna in Sollefteå municipality, Sweden. An environmental crime, according to Näsåker’s forest group and Skogsvärn Skogsnäs. In the forest, there was the red-listed marsh tit, which cannot withstand logging, 1,000s of red listed orchids Goodyera repens and many red listed wood-living fungi and lichens.

SCA has cut trees of natural value at Orrmyrarna, Sollefteå. It is against the FSC certification. Photo: Private

Näsåker’s forest group and Skogsvärn Skogsnäs write in their FSC complaint that SCA has violated all nature conservation criteria in the FSC standard. The forest was a “hotspot” for biodiversity – but now it is gone. It was investigated by non-profit NGO’s after it was logged. SCA has violated, among other things, Principle 1, which deals with legal compliance in the FSC standard. The nature associations Näsåker’s forest group and Skogsvärn Skogsnäs write:

 “In the forest notified for felling, there is at least 13 sites with the protected orchid Goodyera repens (VU, §8) and a territory and habitat of the marsh tit (NT, §4) which have been destroyed. Destroying the habitats of the Goodyera repens and marsh tit is an offense-  if you do not have a dispensation from the County Administrative Board (§§ 14 and 15 of the Species Protection Ordinance). “

The clear-cutting contravenes the EU’s Bird Directive. According to the FSC standard, EU member states and forest companies are obliged to act in accordance with it. The directive applies to birds as well as to their eggs, nests and habitats. In the FSC standard, it is clear that the forest measures that are carried out should not lead to a deterioration for the birds that are protected by the directive. But by clearing the forest, SCA has made it worse for all birds and other species.

Many red-listed wood-living fungi found in the clear-cut area

The certificate holder must protect rare species and endangered species and their habitats within the forestry unit. Something that SCA has certainly not done, on the contrary. The red-listed forest-living fungi Amylocystis lapponica (VU), Skeletocutis odora (VU), Phlebia centrifuga (VU), Crustoderma corneum (NT), Rhodofomes roseus (NT), Phellinidium ferrugineofuscum (NT) and Trichaptum laricinum (NT) are found in the clear-cut area. They will not survive now because they cannot tolerate more wind, more light and dehydration which the logging has caused. (NT= Near Threatened, VU= Vulnerable)

The stump of the nearly 200-year-old felled birch with the lichen Lobaria pulmonaria (NT). Photo: Private

Näsåker’s forest group and Skogsvärn Skogsnäs write:

“It is clear that no competent knowledge-based natural value assessment has been carried out. Likewise, there have been no safety margins or control mechanisms that prevented a natural forest with the highest imaginable natural values ​​from being cleared – neither by the forest company nor by the responsible supervisory authorities”.

The logging carried out is a very serious crime against all nature conservation criteria in the FSC standard. Read the full FSC complaint here, (in Swedish).