Photo: Twilight view over the wild north coast of Moskenesøy, soon to be part of Lofotodden Nasjonalpark, Lofoten Islands, Norway. September 7, 2017. 20:30
After a process of more than 10 years, and with a fair amount of local opposition on Lofoten, last week the Norwegian government announced the creation of Norway’s 40th national park – Lofotodden Nasjonalpark. (NRK article here). More or less covering the whole northern coast of Moskenesøy before wrapping around the western tip of Lofoten, the park will include many of Lofoten’s most wild and rugged mountains and valleys.
Some of the opposition comes from loss of usage rights among people who might have property within the new park boundaries. But there is also the fear that the national park will bring an unsustainable amount of visitors to Lofoten. This, I disagree with.
In my opinion, the current rate of visitors on Lofoten is already unsustainable with the current infrastructure. And popular areas which will now be within the new park, such as Kvalvika or Bunes beaches, have no facilities to manage the waste of the thousands of campers each summer season – that is a lot of shits being buried under rocks, at best, and otherwise often sat out in the open, dirty toilet paper blowing away in the wind.
Hopefully, if done right (which I’m not 100% confident of), the new national park can bring with it the funds to help build facilities needed for current and future use of this fragile arctic landscape. And beyond facilities, hopefully the authority of now being within a national park will also lead to better education of visitors and their increased respect for the land. This is just my hope though, what will actually happen will be seen in the years to come. And hopefully it doesn’t mean that I now need to pay to park when I visit my favorite mountains or beaches, with otherwise no further benefit.
Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8