The old-growth spruce forest which Sveaskog is planning to clear-cut at Goussavare. Photo: Björn Mildh

The FSC certified and state-owned company Sveaskog is planning to log an old-growth spruce forest with high conservation values in the municipality of Arjeplog, northern Sweden. The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC) and Maskaure Sami village have written a joint letter to Sveaskog stating: “Sveaskog’s lack of timber is so massive that even an old-growth forest above the mountain forest region is planned for logging”. Here is the letter from Björn Mildh and Johanna Nilsson from SSNC and Leif Lundberg from Maskaure Sami village:

”Dear Anette and Fredrik,

Sveaskog repeatedly assures that they always carry out a thorough and competent assessment of a forest’s conservation values before logging. Despite this, Sveaskog is planning to log an old-growth forest due to the current large lack of timber, a forest which is above the mountain forest region.
The old-growth spruce forest at Guossavare is situated in the reindeer grazing land of Maskaure Sami village. Coordinates (Sweref 99): N 7303048; E 631911. These pictures were taken in August 2019:

It is not suprising that Sveaskog consequently refuses to openly show its assessments with conservation values as it already has classified an old-growth spruce forest as a production forest and already has removed all undergrowth in it. A presentation of the assessment would reveal all its embarrassing faults. Even the Swedish Forest Agency’s approval to clear-cut this mountain forest has been a mere formality. The Maskaure Sami village is dependent on intact reindeer pastures in the forest but these needs are ignored, although the reindeer industry is classified as a national interest in Sweden.

Time and again Sveaskog has overrun Sweden’s indigenous population – the Sami. The forest company’s demand for timber always comes first. Sveaskog also uses the FSC certification to legitimize its infringements and its lack of transparency. Prevailing problems inevitably lead to conflicts and “a never-ending fight”, even Sveaskog should be able to comprehend this fact. Sveaskog – please make improvements.

Best regards,

Björn Mildh, member of the Swedish Society of Nature Conservation
Leif Lundberg, Maskaure Sami village
Johanna Nilsson, member of the Swedish Society of Nature Conservation, Luleå”

The threatened forest at Goussavare. Photo: Björn Mildh