Norway — In summer 2008 forest fires destroyed approximately 3,000 hectares of forests on the southern coast of Norway in Froland, Nordic Forest Owners Associations reported. After the event, nine forest owners together offered an area of 1,000 hectares about one third of the entire burned area – of fire ravaged forest for protection. Now the initiative of the Norwegian Forest Owners Federation and the regional cooperative AT Skog concerning voluntary protection of parts of the area, has been accepted.
Mr Svein M. Søgnen, adviser in the Forest Owners’ Federation says that the handling of this issue has been exceptionally fast. It is most unusual that matters concerning areas voluntarily offered for protection are dealt with so quickly.
The matter must be settled before winter. The forest owners must know if there is interest in the proposal. If not, they must start planning next winter’s felling in order to safeguard at least some of the timber in the forest fire area. Mr Søgnen is happy about the good co-operation during last summer and autumn between AT Skog, the County Governor in Aust-Agder, the Directorate for Nature Management and the Attorney General.
The forest owners’ offer will now be sent around for comments. A final decision is expected in the first half of 2009. The forest owners will be paid interest on the agreed price until the decision has been made and the money can be paid.
Mr Søgnen says that the whole matter can be settled in less than a year.