The reindeer on Hardangervidda are threatened by the gondola lift

The Norwegian Environmental Protection Association (NMF) demands a complete halt to the plans from Hardanger Skylift to build a gondola lift from Odda up on the Rossnos plateau.

This will open a hitherto very inaccessible and important part of the wild reindeer's Hardangervidda area to traffic and will therefore displace the wild reindeer from yet another important part of its habitat.

NMF delivered yesterday The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency's consultation response to Ullensvang municipality.

The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency's consultation response

In this statement, the Norwegian Environmental Protection Association (NMF) will exclusively comment on what
according to the detailed regulation plan, must take place on Rossnos and Hardangervidda itself. Our focus is to
protect Hardangervidda National Park with its vulnerable high mountain nature and the gradually
the endangered wild reindeer tribe there. A species Norway has a particular international responsibility for.
The reindeer deserve to be able to survive as a species even against human greed and greed for money.
The reindeer's kingdom is Hardangervidda and the animals cannot afford to lose as much as
square meter area.

The wild reindeer is one national type of responsibility Norway has an international obligation to take care of, and
it is only in some limited areas in southern Norway that we find wild reindeer tribes. Among the largest
the threats to the wild reindeer are the reduction of its habitats. For the reindeer tribe on
Hardangervidda has over time lost more and more of its habitat from all sides via boats
roads, developments and increased tourism and other human impacts. The Hardangervidda municipalities
which should cooperate to ensure good living conditions for the wild reindeer have time and time again
failed this responsibility by allowing multiple and repeated land encroachments into the wild reindeer's important
living areas.

Each of the municipalities has carried out large area interventions without taking total load into account
of all such interventions in their municipality. In Eidfjord, people are constantly pushing forward Eidsfjord Resort to
despite the fact that this will lead to a significant reduction in the wild reindeer's overall living area around
Hardangervidda. In the same municipality is also Tinnhølvegen, which goes far inland and into
the national park's conservation boundary opened for motorhomes and hikers.

Similar interventions can be found in all municipalities who have a responsibility to look after the wild reindeer
living areas on Hardangervidda. This also means that when the reindeer are pushed further and
further away from their former living areas in other parts of the Hardangervidda, so too
the grazing pressure is greater in the central areas, which strongly affects the ability of the entire wild reindeer population
to survival. At the same time, this also means that the more sheltered grazing areas and marginal zones
will become increasingly important for the wild reindeer in the years to come, both as grazing relief and as
important areas for its chances of survival. Opening up Rossnos for accessibility will
be a disaster and a direct threat to the entire wild reindeer tribe on the Hardangervidda
future and possibility of survival.

A new gondola from the center of Odda, which carries 100,000 vis of new tourists from the center and
straight up in the vulnerable high mountain nature, in the edge zone of one of Norway's most stressed areas
national park areas are nothing less than a disaster for both the Hardangervidda, the wild reindeer and
the national park, but also in the short term, a disaster for the tourism industry in the region. The tourists
come to see untouched and living nature!

Even a professional "somewhat thin"/deficient reindeer investigation, gives clear notice that the consequences
for the wild reindeer is: "very large negative consequence". This alone should make everyone's eyes pop!
Especially those who claim they want to preserve the wild reindeer and who have management authority.

It is also completely normal for the reindeer to use such edge zones more sporadic than the more
central areas. Anyone who knows reindeer biology and migration patterns knows that those who
usually pulls against the wind. This is also the reason why individual years can be small
observations in a marginal area, while in other years under different weather conditions there may be many animals
and large flocks. In the years the reindeer use the pastures in an edge area, they get the central ones
the grazing areas a much-needed rest and the vegetation gets an opportunity to recover and
regrowth. Depending on wind directions and weather, several years may pass between each time
The wild reindeer use a marginal area without this reducing the value of the area for the wild reindeer
any way. As the pressure via land loss and greater human activity has increased considerably
around all sides of the Hardangervidda National Park, so has an area like Rossnos as a result
has become even more important for the future survival of the wild herd on Hardangervidda.

It would be a betrayal to carry out the project, against the wild reindeer, against future generations and
against our international obligations. (Collective assessment - not pricing
consequences/environmental consequences of the plan 7.3.7) For the sake of clarity, we point out that it will have “large
negative consequence" both for biodiversity and wild reindeer and for the landscape.

Comments about sources used in the investigation such as: “Many of the sources of information
about the reindeer's land use are also opposed to the project." As well as the whole section after is, like this
we get it, shocking read! This is pure suspicion of experienced, knowledgeable people
human beings

NMF further considers this case to be so extensive and of such great importance to one of ours
largest and most popular national parks, that we regard the matter as a national matter, which
concerns everyone who is happy with Norwegian nature.

We therefore find it natural to refer to: Regulation on protection
for Hardangervidda National Park – Odda, Ullensvang and Eidfjord municipalities, Hordaland,
Vinje and Tinn municipalities, Telemark, Hol, Nore and Uvdal municipalities, Buskerud

§ 2. Object
The purpose of the Hardangervidda National Park is to protect a part of something particularly valuable
high mountain area in such a way that the landscape with plants, wildlife, natural and cultural heritage and
the cultural environment is otherwise preserved, while the area must be able to be used for agriculture,
nature-friendly outdoor life and nature experiences, hunting and fishing and teaching and research.

§ 4. Protection rules

The landscape must be protected against developments, facilities and other interventions of all kinds, incl
road construction, new cultivation, fertilising, drainage and other forms of dry laying, parking of
caravans, barracks, etc., mining operations, mass roofs, watercourse regulations, presentation of
power and telephone lines, cable cars, lifts and construction or conversion of buildings. It is
nor allow preliminary investigations for technical interventions to be carried out. The listing is not

Large herds on Hardangervidda. Here a herd of around 300 animals from summer 2021, north of Songadammen. Photo: Arnfinn Nilsen

To open a new part of the plain for mass tourism will have dramatic consequences for dozens
square kilometers of what is today virtually untouched and today functions as a vital
edge zone for wild reindeer. Border zones like this are of great importance and function as free areas
the reindeer can retreat until the pressure becomes too great in the surrounding areas. This will be
increasingly important on Hardangervidda as the area as a whole is undergoing an ever-increasing
pressure from human activity that disrupts the reindeer's natural movement and
opportunities for variation in accommodation, grazing and feeding areas. This must also be taken into account
the consideration that only a mile away there is already massive foot traffic into Trolltunga.

People on hikes displace reindeer, and there should be no more than 25-30 people daily who
uses a path before this path becomes a serious obstacle for reindeer. With 100,000 more tourists
In Rossno, we are no longer talking about 25-30 hikers on the trails every day, you will be able to add
on both one and two zeros. Hardanger Lift will have no authority over the people who
will continue into the terrain and you effectively remove the natural barrier a steep trip to 1400
meters above sea level gives an area. When you can start the trip at an altitude of 1,400 metres, you want to
ordinary hikers could easily cover both one and two miles into the terrain on a day trip.
A trip that, without the gondola, would only be completed by a very few people who are very experienced in the mountains
people who travel in nature on quite different terms than the typical "gondola user".

Seen in light of this, there is little consolation in that Hardanger Lift seems to want to appear modest
and reduces the physical footprint out on the edge of the plateau. The problem is as mentioned
unfortunately, it is not at all the square meters of the installations that are the biggest natural intervention
here, but all the tens of square kilometers that are massively affected.

Such a gross encroachment on nature in the marginal zone of Hardangervidda National Park, will undermine
the protection regulations for the national park completely. The cumulative effects of all interventions and increased traffic
around and in Hardangervidda in the later decades, no foundation has been laid either
the impact assessment. The area that will be affected by the gondola on Rossnos will be a significant one
intervention in a large area in this part of the Hardangervidda

Because of its, until now, inaccessibility, Rossnos is one of the least trafficked on the whole
Hardangervidda, and is therefore very important for the overall composition of
conservation area. Increased accessibility via gondola will not only increase the human
activity in the immediate area, but will also open up increased hiking tourism and human activity far away
into the landscape and into the national park itself to displace the wild reindeer. When even
DNT has started to temporarily close its cabins elsewhere in the national park to reduce it
human pressure on the reindeer tribe, it is downright irresponsible to simultaneously open another one
part of the Hardagervidda area for increased traffic. Allowing this would be almost as bad as
whether the intervention was carried out in the national park itself.

On the basis of this, the Norwegian Environmental Protection Association demands an immediate stop and scrapping of
the plan!

Hardangervidda National Park and adjacent zones are "attacked" by municipalities from all over
edges and is already in the process of being completely destroyed by human influence!
Stop the madness!

Let Rossnos remain untouched and give the wild reindeer a chance!

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