Labour rages against ‘ideological sell-off’ of the forest

forestForest.Photo: Norway Today Media

The Government’s forest sale circumvents the Parliament

The Government’s forest sale circumvents the Parliament’s wishes and has been far more extensive than anticipated, according to Labour. The party fears the privatization of fishing and hunting.

 

 

Labour’s agricultural spokesperson Knut Storberget points out that it is now sold out forest areas that totals the size of Oslo.

– The Labour Party has been a party to a certain bit of auction sale. But when this now exceeds 400,000 acres and large forest areas are sold, we are no longer in an auction sale, but in an ideological sell-off, he says to NTB.

Storberget believes that the Conservatives and the Progress Party take advantage of the agreement on arbitration sales and goes much further.

– They are going around the parliament’s will under the cover of arranger sales, says the Labour politician.

Arranger sales are basically the sale of small and dispersed forest properties. But Labour believes that too large areas laid out, and the case was highlighted when Statskog recently put an additional 30,000 hectares of forest up for sale. .

Community Resources

The properties are located in Telemark, Oppland, Nord-Trøndelag and Sør-Trøndelag.

On Tuesday, Statskog’s website revealed that two properties in Drangedal in Telemark have already been sold.

– This is very largely community resources that will be the future engine in the green shift. People have considerable outdoor interests in hunting and fishing and Labour regret that this is being privatized, says Storberget.

Labour says that areas worth several million are now bought as private hunting grounds. He points to concrete examples from Gol and Hitra. At Gol an important hunting property that had been run by the local hunter and fishing association, recently sold. On Hitra Statskog’s last properties are put up for sale.

– I think it is very regrettable that the state can not afford to maintain such properties, says Mayor Ole L. Haugen (Labour) to the local newspaper Hitra-Frøya

Up to the owner

Agriculture Minister Jon Georg Dale (Progress Party) says hunting and fishing are a landowner rights and follows the property after a sale.

It will be up to the new owner to decide how this should be managed. Public right ensures everyone free access to outlying areas, regardless of who is the landowner, says the Minister.

The Minister defends the forest sales.

– With this move, we move the ownership to local owners. Thereby it can be more rational operation for both Statskog and the local forest owner.

-This strengthens the basis for increased impact and value creation in Norwegian districts.

Dale indicates that the government has chosen to let Statskog continue the auction sale of a total of 600,000 acres and opened to expand sales by another 150,000 acres.

Statskog has so far sold 385,000 acres of forests – 70 percent to local buyers, 12 percent to the Norwegian Environmental Directorate, 8 percent to Norwegian municipalities and 11 percent to other buyers, primarily land and forest owners in the neighbouring municipalities.

Facts on Norwegian woods

  • The forest in Norway is mostly owned by private landowners. Norway has a larger share of private forest than any other country in Europe.
  • The state – via Statskog – owns approximately one-fifth of mainland Norway. Forests account for around 17 per cent of this area. Statskog owns just over 3 per cent of the forest in Norway.
  • Private individuals own 77 percent of the productive forest area. Companies and unions own 7.5 percent, while the state owns 7 percent. The remaining area owned by municipalities and commons.

 

© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today

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