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Sveaskog’s newly made road through natural forest in the reindeer grazing land of Maskaure Sami village.
Photo: Björn Mildh.

The state-owned and FSC-certified forest company Sveaskog has built a road through the natural forest at Gijmiesgielas in the reindeer grazing land of Maskaure Sami village in Arjeplog’s municipality. The forest has high conservation values and holds the same class as a woodland key habitat. Leif Lundberg from Maskaure Sami village, Björn Mildh and Johanna Nilsson from The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC) have written an open letter to Sveaskog questioning the road:

“Dear Anette, Jenny and Fredrik,
Some words about the new road which Sveaskog has built through the natural forest at Gijmiesgielas in the reindeer grazing land of Maskaure Sami village. The road does not follow the decided route which can be seen on the map at The Swedish Forest Agency’s map site. Sveaskog had noticed that the original route was planned to go through a woodland key habitat and the company has therefore “corrected” the route of the road.

The Swedish Forest Agency has not made a field visit in the forest, which they should have done instead of just accepting Sveaskog’s map sketch. It was of course correct of the company not to build the road through the woodland key habitat. But the question is if the damage would have been less if Sveaskog had followed the original route.

Sveaskog knew just what they wanted.

The road was built in a forest which is in the same class as a woodland key habitat, a forest which Sveaskog is planning to clear-cut. The forest is already planned for logging and the transport road is ready:

http://www.norrbotten.snf.se/wordpress/gijmiesgielas/

This was implemented before a consultation with the Sami village had taken place. How was it now- Sveaskog has assured us that there is ”equality and respect for businesses on both sides”?

The Sami village has subsequently said no to the forest being logged, both during Sveaskog’s consultancy and field visit. Expressed in clear text to Sveaskog- the road at Gijmiesgielas should never have been built. The natural forests there are both important reindeer grazing land and hold the same class as woodland key habitats. 

Maskaure Sami-village’s no to logging should be respected!

Kind 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”