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Norway´s National Parks are regulated by the laws of nature. Nature decides both how and when to do things. National Parks are established in order to protect large natural areas - from the coast to the mountains. This is done for our sake, for generations to come and for the benefit of nature itself.




STABBURSDALEN NATIONAL PARK

County: Finnmark

Established: 1970

Extended: 2002

Size: 747 km2





The worlds northernmost pine forest

The northernmost pine forest in the world is in the Stabbursdalen valley, which also forms the northern limit for several species of animals and birds. Stabbursdalen National Park contains many of Finnmark´s typical landscape forms. The mountain range Gaissene, towers over the otherwise calm landscape, and the Stabburselva river is known for its excellent salmon fishing.




Salmon fishing in the Stabburselva river

Now that the lower two waterfalls on the Stabbur river are bypassed by fish ladders, salmon can swim up to Njakkafossen waterfall. In the past they were a very important food resource and were caught with nets as well as traditional rod-and-line. Today, keen anglers visit the rapids and pools along the river hoping to hook a prize salmon. Fishing is so popular that care must be taken to limit the wear and tear on the countryside.

The area is suited for hiking as well, with marked trails and open cabins. Small game hunting is possible. Remember to get fishing and hunting licenses.




A land shaped by glaciers and glacial rivers

Stabbursdalen National Park contains many of Finnmark´s typical landscape forms: barren mountains, open plateaux and narrow ravines, with scattered mountain birch and stretches of pine forest.

The Stabburselva river is about 60 km long, and is one of the most pristine larger rivers in Norway. Waterfalls and rapids interspersed with deep pools of still water mark the river as it runs through the National Park. At Luobbal (Lompola) it sweeps gently into wide bays, and forms one of the richest areas of the valley.

The bare rugged mountains of Gaissene to the south-east contrast with the ancient undulating landscape to the north and west. Gaissene reach heights of more than 1.000 metres. They slope towards the Porsanger Fjord in the east, where they form a wide mountain plateau between 400 and 700 metres above sea level. The area is grey and barren, with little vegetation, and can be described as a mountain desert.

The melting glaciers from the end of the last Ice Age 10,000 years ago have left their mark in Stabbursdalen. Great glacial rivers flowed northwards and eastwards, beneath the ice at first, then emerging from the front of the glacier. The melt-water carved out the impressive Ravttosavzi canyon in the main valley and several ravines in the side valleys. Great masses of gravel were brought down by the glacial rivers and deposited in the delta at Porsangerfjorden. Here the traces of the ice age can be seen clearly. After the ice age, the river has continued to dig deeper into the soil, and is still shaping the grand terrasses along its course.




Pine woodland in a barren landscape

Some 7,500 - 5,000 years ago when the climate was warmer, the pine forest spread far inland along the fjords and valleys. As it grew colder, the forest retreated and has only survived in sheltered valleys like Stabbursdalen, where it forms the world´s northernmost pine forest. The forest is the northern limit for several birds. The woodland is open with low shrubby pine trees. Here in the far north, trees grow slowly and are liable to frost and wind damage. The dry sterile soil can only support a poor undergrowth of lichen and heather.

At Luobbal the wetlands form a fertile oasis in an otherwise barren landscape. Along the river, willow and sedge, with pine woodland behind, support a rich birdlife. Stabbursdalen is the most northerly habitat for many species, including black grouse and osprey, and the wetlands are an important breeding ground, especially for ducks. Old hollow pine trees provide good nesting places for the goldeneye and goosander.




Traditional use of the countryside

For the coastal Saami people, the natural resources of Stabbursdalen formed a significant part of their subsistence. Hunting, fishing and collecting animal fodder have long traditions, but by careful harvesting few traces remain in the landscape. In Luobbal, sedge was previously cut for winter fodder, while tree stumps in the forest bear witness of timber cut for building boats and houses. There are remains of pit-falls where wild reindeer were hunted in the past, but domestic reindeer herding took over in the 17th century.

Today, the area provides summer grazing for the reindeer. In the traditional Sami religion, nature had a central plkace in religious life. Some mountains and lakes were considered sacred, and sacrificial stones were important religious symbols.







OPPLAND


Dovrefjell - Sunndalsfjella
Jotunheimen
Ormtjernkampen
Rondane



HEDMARK


Dovre
Femundsmarka
Forollhogna
Gutulia
Rondane



BUSKERUD


Hardangervidda


TELEMARK


Hardangervidda


HORDALAND


Hardangervidda
Folgefonna



SOGN & FJORDANE


Jostedalsbreen
Jotunheimen



MØRE & ROMSDAL


Dovrefjell - Sunndalsfjella


SØR TRØNDELAG


Dovrefjell - Sunndalsfjella
Femundsmarka
Forollhogna
Skarvan and Roltdalen



NORD TRØNDELAG


Blåfjella-Skjækerfjella
Børgefjell
Lierne
Skarvan and Roltdalen



NORDLAND


Børgefjell
Junkerdal
Møysalen
Rago
Saltfjellet - Svartisen



TROMS


Reisa
Øvre Dividal
Ånderdalen



FINNMARK


Stabbursdalen
Øvre Anarjohka
Øvre Pasvik



SVALBARD


Forlandet
Nordenskiøld Land
Nordre Isfjorden
Nordvest-Spitsbergen
Sassen-Bunsow Land
Sør-Spitsbergen