What if this landscape had been turned into a hydroelectric power plant! Photo: Marcus Elmerstad.What if this landscape had been turned into a hydroelectric power plant! Photo: Marcus Elmerstad.

Scrapped power station plans

We may take jumping fish and freely flowing rivers for granted in Gränslandet, but in reality this could have changed completely. In 1957, a Swedish-Norwegian inquiry gave thumbs up to companies which wanted to regulate Femund/Trysilelva and turn both Rogen and Femunden into hydroelectric power station dams. The water level in Lake Rogen would then have fluctuated by five metres, and the shores would never have looked the same again.

But 15 organisations headed by Friends of the Earth Norway took up the fight for the river and lakes. Through intensive opposition including meetings with ministers, rallies and articles in the press, they managed to get the application for regulation stopped in 1969. Perhaps the oil finds outside the Norwegian coast contributed to the feeling that, in the future, the commodity in short supply may not be energy, but untouched nature. But the defenders of the river didn’t rest until 1973, when Femundsmarka became a national park protected from future hydroelectric plans by the Norwegian parliament.

 
Gränslandet » Water gives life » Scrapped power station plans