What’s the meaning of National Park?
When we think of a national park, the first thing that comes to mind is probably that is an organization for preserved nature. But by experiencing Stabbursnes national park, the northern most pine tree national park among 47 (7 in Svalbard) in Norway, we could have better understanding of nowadays National Park’s meaning that there’s more complicate and cooperative management responsibilities between maintaining nature and expanding tourism development.
Where is the Stabbursnes National Park, and what can we experience?
Stabbursnes established in 1970 with 747km squared size (expanded in 2002), located in Porsanger near Alta. Among 5 national park in Finnmark, Stabbursnes is considered as it has valuable vegetations and territories because of the concrete pine trees, wetlands, migrating birds and numerous historic sites of Sami culture and ice-age. National park also manage own museum and a visitor center. Our group walked across the park for an hour to see and feel the nature, and after that thanks to the national park manager Karoline Salmia, we could talk about the importance of the national park and how to manage visitors and nature.
The round trail was approximately 6.6km and during the walk we could met autumn leaves, northern vegetations, small round rocks, sedimentary layers, and river with wetlands.
Along the trail there are many board explaining about nature and culture in the area with 3 languages(English, Norwegian, Sami language). And it helps to understand why this ares is so important to be preserved. At the end of the trail there’s a bird watching cabin where you can observe birds activities with river view. Stabbursnes is famous for bird migration, so you could find out different specious in every season. National park manager Karolina stressed the importance of wetlands, because it effects to all of ecosystem connections like flora, fauna, soil, river, even to the local people.
Historical and cultural meaning in Stabbursnes National Park
Also there are important evidences of ice-ages and Sami culture. For example small round pebbles on the ground, local names in the Sami language that have been around for a long time, stacked sedimentary layers with river valley. They are all historical remains.
How does the Stabbursnes National Park being managed?
After the walk through the park, we had a chance to hear about National Park management system in Norway from the manager Karolina. She mentioned that collaboration between national organizations and private sectors is important in managing national park. Largely 5 institutions are linked to the management of this national park,
and main decisions are controlled by subsidiary department of nature management in ministry of climate and environment.
Overall visitor management is carried out with the government, and the other side actual national park management is carried out in collaboration with various organizations. For example, Finnmark council, Local Sami people, Fisheries and Hunting societies. More realistic decisions are possible because they are related to real life livings.
What’s the future?
As time change, managing national parks becomes more complex and difficult due to the increased environmental pollution, the changed ecological structures, and the many stakeholders involved in nature. That’s why scientific and numerical analysis and more dialogue and cooperations are needed nowadays. This is the reason that Norway’s future national park management role, where nature is more important than any other country, is noted.