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Erik Hoffner Sweden

63. Sweden’s Surprising Boreal Taiga Forest Destruction

On this week’s episode of Moir’s Environmental Dialogues, Rob talks with Erik Hoffner, freelance photojournalist, fine art photographer and Outreach Coordinator for Orion Magazine.  Erik talks about what he found in the northern forests of Sweden. On a misty August morning in a taiga forest, Erik discovered first hand that Sweden’s green veneer, a reputation as being one of the world’s most environmentally progressive nations, hides surprisingly lax forestry laws. This oversight has resulted in the loss of large swaths of biologically rich boreal forests. Erik “tripped, slid and sloshed” through the forest with volunteers taking inventory. Trees grow for three hundred years, die and remain standing for another three hundred years. Only then can a rare species of lichen (Platismatia norvegica) grow on the trees.  This ancient ecosystem provides vital lichens for grazing by reindeer and is the sole habitat of a white-backed woodpecker subspecies. Timber harvesting these forests puts over 2,100 threatened and endangered species at risk.