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With the acquisition by Meråker Bruk, the Labor Party and the Center Party have put a definitive end to the large-scale privatization of Norwegian forests which the Conservative Party and the FRP had been advocating for more than eight years. We say no to the sale of Norway and yes to our shared natural resources for the benefit of the community.
Meråker Bruk is one of Norway’s largest private estates. The area is approximately 1.2 million acres, of which more than 200,000 acres are productive forests. Here, people have practiced mountain hiking, fishing, hunting and skiing since the 18th century.
So this one the property was put up for sale, it was important to prevent it from falling into the hands of foreign or commercial real estate speculators. In practice, Russians or Chinese could have taken over a Norwegian municipality here. Or it could go to corporations and business people who would close it to the public to do business.
now ensures The government says the important property remains in Norwegian hands, when it should continue to benefit the local population. Statskog will provide local value creation in forestry, energy, cottage and housing construction, and hunting and fishing. Among other things, they will provide Meråker Alpinsenter with an operating grant of NOK 15 million to strengthen Meråker as a ski destination and contribute to the further development of chalet sites.
The inhabitants of The municipality of Meråker has an agreement on the right to hunt and fish on approximately 700,000 acres of the property, and this will continue with Statskog as the owner. At the same time, we are now making hunting and fishing even more accessible to the general public, both for residents of the municipality and for others.
When Frp and the Conservative Party tries to present acquisition as a priority for the state budget in competition with other important tasks, they are dead wrong. It does not come under the expenditure of the state budget. Here it is more about investing our common savings in Norwegian forests in the same way as the Petroleum Fund invests in properties in London. A wise investment, many would say.
common forest is actually a scarce resource in Norway. While the state owns only 14% of the forest in this country, it owns, for example, 27% in Sweden and 30% in Finland. Even in the United States, the state owns 31%, while in Germany 52% and in Canada up to 92% of forests are state-owned.
We need so more forest – not less – in the hands of the community. This is how we create local jobs and provide ordinary people with access to hunting, fishing and outdoor activities in community forests.
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