An acute threat lies over the subalpine primeval forest in Änok – one of the country’s most beautiful river deltas. The Änok delta is a magnificent primeval forest landscape, unique on its own but also valuable as a part of a vast and intact wilderness. In Änok, the nature reserve Pärlälvens montane virgin forest meets the world heritage Laponia, which includes the national park Sarek among with many other protected areas. Änok lies in the heart of one of Europe’s last wilderness, without roads or other signs of large-scale human activity.
Despite of this, the Swedish Forest Agency has authorized permission for the clear-cutting of 40 hectares (100 acres) of old-growth forest, only one kilometer from the border of the UNESCO world heritage Laponia. The regional authorities in Norrbotten could give this area formal protection, but to do so, the signature of the county governor is required. Until then, these forests are in peril and logging could start at any time.
Help us to stop the logging by urging Governor of Norrbotten County Per-Ola Eriksson to immediately establish a nature reserve in Änok.
Photo: Tor Lundberg (www.kvikkjokk.nu)
Dear Per-Ola Eriksson,
As Governor of Norrbotten County you could prevent the logging in the Änok river delta, and instead preserve this unique wilderness area in the magnificent mountains of Kvikkjokk. Clear-cutting in Änok would cause irreparable damage to nature, and would also make it impossible for future generations to experience one of Swedens last unspoiled virgin forest landscapes.
There is no doubt that the natural values in Änok have the very highest qualities. The three concerned authorities – the Swedish Forest Agency, the County Administrative Board and the Environmental Protection Agency – all assess that this area has a very high conservation value. If Swedish forestry is to achieve its aspirations of ecological sustainability, they cannot continue to move in to previously untouched and roadless virgin forest landscapes.
Logging in Änok would also seriously damage the reputation of Swedish forestry, which is already today under severe critique from the environmental movement. Swedish forest policy is built on the idea of equality between production and nature conservation, which means that some forests should be managed while others preserved. If the pristine forests in Änok do not belong to the latter, there is absolutely no credibility left in Sweden’s current forest policy.
As County Governor in Norrbotten you are the highest official in a government agency with the task to work towards achieving the environmental goals adapted by the Swedish parliament. Logging in Änok violates at least three of these; A Magnificent Mountain Landscape, Sustainable Forests and A Rich Diversity of Plant and Animal Life. In addition, the area is classified as having national interest concerning conservation and recreation.
Logging in the heart of Änok would be one of the 21st century’s greatest environmental scandals in the forests of Sweden. We appeal to you to stop this logging and immediatly protect the Änok river delta from exploitation.