Europe’s highest sea cliff amongst beauty spots which could become Norway’s newest national parks

Europe’s highest sea cliff amongst beauty spots which could become Norway’s newest national parks
Photo by Torbjorn Sandbakk on Unsplash
Norway's Hornelen, Summørsalpane, Masfjordfjella Øystesefjella could become national parks if a proposal to the Norwegian Environment Agency becomes a reality.

The proposal follows a 2016 report to the Norwegian parliament on biodiversity and will be considered by the Ministry of Climate and Environment.

“In order for us to propose new national parks, there must be certain acceptance in the municipalities that are affected. Good dialogue with the municipalities is also absolutely crucial for any further processes,” Norwegian Environment Agency director, Ellen Hambro told NRK.

A number of proposals in the past have previously been rejected due to a lack of local support, but several municipal officials have already publicly backed the new plan.

“It’s a day of joy. It is fantastic that the landscape values and outdoor values are in these mountain areas are appreciated;” Helene Ødven from The Norwegian Trekking Association (DNT) told state broadcaster NRK.

“I got butterflies when I found out, we have been working on this for almost 40 years,” she said.

One of the candidates is Europe’s highest sea cliff, at 860 meters, Hornelen.

 
 
 
 
 
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“As long as it is in accordance with what everything has been established by the industry, we would very much like to have it turned into a national park” said Anne Kristin Førde, mayor of the Bremanger municipality where Hornelen is.

National parks in Norway are protected, making it illegal to alter the landscape if it is not in the spirit of conservation. For example,  new roads and cabins may not be built, nor is it permitted to regulate watercourses.

There are currently 47 national parks in Norway.

READ MORE: ‘Out of this world’: Norwegian beach named ‘best in Europe’ 

“I am glad that the environmental authorities see the value of this area of untouched nature. This is an area that is important to take care of for the generations that come after us,” Sara Hamre Sekkingstad, mayor of Alver municipality, location of Masfjordfjella, told NRK.

If Masfjordfjella gets the protected status of a national park the mayor hopes it will prevent wind power being developed in the area.

“We are clearly against wind power in our mountain area, and we will remain so,” she said.


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