68. National Park *Hege Steigedal

Interview with Hege Steigedal, in the municipality offices of Moskenes, in Reine

« In 2007, the politicians here decided that they want to research on this area. Is this qualifying for a National Park, is it worth? Because if you are going to have a National Park, you need to have an area without modern installations, and you need to have high value of nature. And they knew there was no modern installations here. Then do you find values, nature values that are high enough?, and they did. And they find very little conflict with other interests. So the consequence, the research they did came out positive. With establishing a park, almost all consequence came out positive. »
« Many places in Norway in the outfield are inherited, so it’s private owned, but it’s not allowed to build there. And that’s the case here, all this area today is defined as an outfield and it’s not permitted to build anything. So it’s very restricted area. But if it’s not gonna be a National Park, in four years when it’s new politicians deciding, they can decide otherwise: « Ok we’re gonna sell this part here to private owners, they can build cabins if they like, or in other places, or we want to have mining industry here, so we can have another restriction in this area. That’s the main goal of having a National Park, is to preserve it the way it is now. »
« Here in red is where we want the park. Now we have taken out some areas where people want to build some cabins. Like this area…
–In Buvågen, there are projects to build cabins?
–I don’t think they will give the permission to do that, park or no park. There were nine people who had ground there, who said « we want our property out of the park ».
–So the green, it’s out of the park?
–No, the green means that it’s no man’s land. That means that it’s not in the matricle. Because you have the system, who owns, and how big is the proportion of land they own. You can see, it’s almost 60% that no one owns.
–So, those areas are the less –let’s say– problematic, because there is less need to solve problems of…?
–Yes, but at the same time, many people come to us and say « I own this land here »… So OK, it’s up to them to find the papers, from the old days, that they really are the right owners from this place… [rires]
–It’s complex, because sometimes it can go way back…
–Yes and it’s just maybe not written down, it’s just oral understanding. But what we think, most of these areas are not owned like you had the right to build a house, but it’s owned like you have the right to use it, as a hunting place or to raise your sheeps, you can use it, but you cannot build there. »
« But maybe if people get aware of this, and they think they own a place there, they can try to find the papers, they can come to us and we can update this, it’s not that this is final. When this National Park project started, it was a lot more green. Through this project we have found a lot of owners, who actually own places there. […] Most of the people here are people who inherited it from their ancestors. So we have here in Hell, Refsvika… Many places here, you have old villages that were… that the people were moved from, in the 1950s. »

> projet de parc national à la point des Lofoten

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