Protection of Nature in Norway

General Protection

Norway has a very special nature, and many laws are given to protect it from being destroyed. Firstly, the Every Mans Right gives everyone the right to be in the nature, as long as nothing is done to harm the nature. It is illegal to put up fences outside cultivated areas, and it's illegal to put up signs denying anyone access. It's also illegal to put up advertisement-boards outside cities.

Travel with motorized vehicles outside roads is illegal without special reason and permission. Such travel with snowmobile is legal on Svalbard and in Finnmark on marked routes. It's also generally illegal to build huts, houses, roads or bridges outside cultivated areas without permission from the local municipality.

In addition to these general rules there are several kinds of special protected areas, where the rules are stronger. These are:

Landscape Protected Area (Landskapsvernområde)

In these areas permissions will not be given for anything that will change the character of the landscape. This is the mildest form of protection, and is normally given to medium-sized areas without roads or any other motorized means of transportation, but with some technical installations. Wild mountain - areas with some regulated lakes often get this status.

National Park (Nasjonalpark)

A National Park is a larger area without any technical installations. A national park is according to the definition "an area where the nature is nationally and globally special, and therefore worth protection". As this is written there are 16 National Parks in Norway, but the number is still rising. National Parks do not have roads, and motorized travel is usually only allowed for critical missions. Most of Norways National Parks today are mountain-areas, and many of the most known mountainareas have this status.

Nature Reserve (Naturreservat)

The status of Nature Reserve is usually given to a small area with very special type of landscape, or - more common - wildlife. Nature Reserve is the strongest protection. Motorized travel is absolutely not allowed, and in some cases travel is not allowed at all. (Although this is rare, due to the Every Mans Right. It is usually only practised at bird-colonies at the coast.) There are many small Nature Reserves in Norway.



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