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Sveaskog plans to log yet another natural forest at Maskaure Sami village

 A fallen spruce with the redlisted fungi Fomitopsis rosea (the fungi is not visible in the picture). Photo: Björn Mildh

The state-owned and FSC-certified forest company Sveaskog is planning to clear-cut yet another forest with high conservation values above the mountain forest region in the county of Norrbotten, Sweden. The threatened 200-year old forest is a part of Maskaure Sami-village reindeer grazing land in Arjeplog’s municipality. Björn Mildh, member of The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC), Leif Lundberg from Maskaure Sami village and Johanna Nilsson, member of SSNC in Luleå demand that Sveaskog withdraws their logging plans.

Here is the open letter to Sveaskog from Björn Mildh, Leif Lundberg and Johanna Nilsson translated:

”Dear Anette and Fredrik,
Sveaskog continues to plan logging of natural forests of woodland key habitat class in Maskaure Sami village’s reindeer grazing pastures in Arjeplog’s municipality.
One of these forests is on the northern slope of Makkavare, barely 1 kilometer west of the homestead of Aspberg. Co-ordinates (Sweref 99): N 7306015; E 633705.
The forest is about 200 years old, has trees of all sizes consisting mostly of mixed pine. It grows on a damp slope with groundwater near the surface. Spruce is dominating but there are also some deciduous trees, such as birch and sallow.

The forest is located just above the line for near-mountain forest and is completely surrounded by young forest. In the middle of the forest there is a mire with a small stream. There is plenty of course woody debris in the forest and the fungi Skeletocutis odora (VU) and Fomitopsis rosea (NT) are both noted. These are red-listed fungi which show that there is a long continuity of course woody debris.

In the forest there are capercallie (droppings and feathers found) and black woodpecker. There are plenty of dark hanging lichens on old spruce (reindeer grazing pasture).

The undergrowth has already been cleared in the forest. (This is done in order to make it easier for the forest machines to drive through). A transport road has been built near the forest. There is no doubt that Sveaskog is going to clear-cut this oldgrowth-like forest of woodland key habitat class. The company stops at nothing to fulfill its contract with the industry. Everything is being clear-cut.

On the land of Maskaure Sami village only old natural forests are being logged. Everything else has already been either clear-cut or turned into plantations. A plantation can never be a reindeer pasture again.

Woodland key habitats should be conserved and not clear-cut.

Reindeer grazing land should be left alone. The reindeer industry is classified as national interest in Sweden.

The rights of our indigenous peoples should be respected.

How many times has this have to be said to Sveaskog?

Is this the way to conduct FSC-certified forestry?

Do it again. Do it right.

Best regards,

Björn Mildh, member of The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC)
Leif Lundberg, from Maskaure Sami village
Johanna Nilsson, member of SSNC in Luleå”