After scheduled repairs were shelved due to budget cuts, the Swedish Tourist Association is calling on the government to restore funding for the nation’s mountain trails.
The Tourist Association launched an online petition on Saturday, calling on Environment Minister Isabella Lövin to restore funding for repairs along Sweden’s roughly 5,500-km of hiking trails in its mountains.
“The funding for maintenance and upgrading mountain trails needs to be restored as soon as possible. And, in the long run, it needs to be increased to meet the growing interest in outdoor tourism,” the petition reads.
Funding for the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, which oversees the trails, was cut by 40 percent in the budget for 2019 that was submitted by the Moderates and Christian Democrats, and which was voted through parliament with the help of the the Sweden Democrats.
The agency said it was postponing repairs and maintenance work in 2019 and that if more money wasn’t set aside some trails could be closed.
Related stories from around the North:
Finland: Finland’s national parks popular despite poor maintenance, Yle News
Norway: WWF urges Norway to protect its Arctic forests to help fight climate change, The Independent Barents Observer
Russia: Russia adds small Arctic island to large national park, The Independent Barents Observer
Sweden: High-tech lasers to help Sweden build detailed maps of all its forests, Radio Sweden
United States: U.S. Gov quietly allows land survey in Alaskan wildlife refuge, enviro groups furious, Alaska Public Media