FSC-certified SCA plans to log forests with very high conservation values ​​at Svarttjärnsåsen and Marktjärn in Ånge municipality in Sweden. Despite the fact that SCA has received information of the forests’ high conservation values and that they harbor many red-listed species, SCA has not withdrawn its felling notifications. Now the NGO Protect the Forest requests that the County Administrative Board enforces a logging ban in the area. Several FSC complaints have been submitted regarding the forests in recent years.

In the forest at Svarttjärnåsen there is a stream that runs through the forest which enriches biodiversity. Photo: Private

The forests notified for logging are about 15 km north of Fränsta. The forests have very high conservation values and should be formally protected, according to Protect the Forest and the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation in Västernorrland (SSNC), in their request to the County Administrative Board. In total, there are two logging notifications at Svarttjärnåsen and five notifications at Marktjärn. The NGOs point out that red-listed species are virtually found on every single square meter in the forest at Svarttjärnåsen.

Biologist Erland Lindblad comments:

– It is incomprehensible that an FSC-certified company is even thinking about logging natural forests like these. And even more incomprehensible that Sweden’s nature conservation and regulatory authorities just stand by and watch, pretending like nothing is happening. Species protection legislation, environmental goals and international commitments seem to mean nothing. How is it possible that this is allowed to continue?

Red listed hanging lichens in the forest. Photo: Private

SCA should leave the forest

The Swedish Forestry Agency has prohibited logging in parts of the forest where the protected orchid Goodyera repens grows, but has not taken any measures to preserve the breeding areas of the Eurasian three-toed woodpecker or other protected birds. In the rest of the forest, SCA still intends to carry out logging, although with increased consideration. SCA wants, among other things, to favor pine and deciduous trees in certain parts that are currently dominated by lichen-rich natural spruce forest at Svarttjärnåsen. The NGOs believe that this measure is misdirected – the conservation values ​​are high in the forest because of the lack of forestry. Many of the species in the forest are sensitive to changes in humidity and will not survive when it becomes windier or drier, which is what will happen when trees are felled.

Hazel grouse, one of the red-listed inhabitants in the forest. Photo: Wikimedia Commons, Francesco Veronesi CC BY-SA 2.0

Violation of the law to cut down the forests

The NGOs have inventoried both forests. They have found a total of over 70 nature conservation species, of which 32 are red-listed species, in the forest at Svarttjärnåsen and Marktjärn. 15 species are protected according to the Swedish Species Protection Ordinance. This means that it is a violation of law to damage their habitats in any way without being granted an exemption from a prohibition from the County Administrative Board. This includes the red-listed birds hazel grouse (NT), black woodpecker (NT) and the Eurasian three-toed woodpecker (NT). These birds are included in Annex 1 of the Birds Directive. This means that special conservation measures concerning their habitat must be taken to ensure their survival and reproduction.

Help stop SCA’s logging!

Write to SCA and ask them to completely refrain from felling the forests at Svarttjärnåsen and at Marktjärn: info@sca.com

Read related articles:

SCA plans to clear-cut 200 hectares forest with very high conservation values at Vargtjärnen

Sweden fails to protect species-old-growth forests planned for logging

Contact: Erland Lindblad, biologist, erlandlindblad(@)hotmail.com