New land lease agreement in Jämtland/Härjedalen

STF's new lease agreement implies that STF's mountain stations and cabins can open as planned at the end of February 2024. The new agreement, developed in dialogue with the affected Sami villages, means that we are changing the food offerings, reducing the number of beds, adjusting opening hours, and closing down the Gåsen mountain cabin. We do this to minimize disturbances for the reindeer husbandry and contribute to sustainable development of the area while continuing to make nature experiences accessible. A smaller part of Blåhammaren will already be demolished this winter. This has already been highlighted in the media after an excavator was driven up to Blåhammaren.

On January 1, 2024, STF’s new ground lease agreement for the Jämtland Mountains and parts of Härjedalen came into effect. STF will continue to offer accommodation, self-catering facilities, and shops for mountain hikers and skiers, but we will change the food offerings, reduce the number of beds, adjust opening hours, and decommission one cabin location.

What’s happening at Blåhammaren?

Blåhammaren opens on February 29 and closes on April 19. The summer season begins on July 1 and ends on October 6. The restaurant is already closed, but self-catering facilities and a provision store will remain. The number of beds will be reduced to a total of 30 beds for the winter season.

A part of the main building will start to be demolished this winter. The part being demolished is called the accommodation wing and consists of the corridor furthest west with a total of 12 guest rooms. STF has chosen to remove this part of the building because it is in such poor condition that we would have needed to demolish it and build anew if it were to continue to be used. The condition of the accommodation wing has been known for a number of years, and we have deliberately chosen not to invest members’ money here as there has been uncertainty about future ground lease. Contractually, we have until 2026 to make the physical changes at Blåhammaren, but we have chosen to make this change already this winter to spread out work efforts and costs over time. This is to reduce the risk of too great an impact on the association’s finances. The new ground lease agreement entails several changes, and postponing all of these could have significant consequences for the rest of STF’s operations.

To avoid helicopter transports and ground damage, we always try to schedule larger transports for winter when we can do them on snow.

What’s happening at Gåsen Mountain Cabin?

Gåsen Mountain Cabin is already closed and will not accept any guests from 2024 onwards. To ensure mountain safety during the winter season of 2024, the County Administrative Board has arranged for a small safety room to remain on site. This room is intended only for emergencies. If you wish to visit the area, you will need to bring a tent, supplies, and have (mountain) experience. The area is suitable for visitors who enjoy few human encounters in the mountains and who can take responsibility for their own safety.

See below for a map with safety information from the County Administrative Board of Jämtland.

No demolitions or relocations of buildings are planned for this winter, but internal renovations may be needed to prepare the safety room.

What’s happening at Sylarna Mountain Station?

Sylarna Mountain Station opens as planned on February 22 and closes on April 19. The summer season begins on July 15 and ends on October 6. The number of beds is reduced by 25 percent already this winter, but no buildings will be demolished here. The restaurant remains open and operates as usual in 2024 but is to be phased out by 2028. We have invested in new ventilation at Sylarna for several years, and during the winter of 2024, we will do some work related to this. So, the construction work that will be visible at Sylarna this winter is related to that.

What’s happening at Helags Mountain Station?

Helags Mountain Station opens as planned on February 22 and closes on April 19. The summer season begins on July 1 and ends on October 6. The restaurant remains open and operates as usual in 2024 but is to be phased out by 2028. The ground lease entails no demolitions or similar at Helags.

What’s happening at Vålåstugan, Stensdalen, Anaris, Lunndörren, and Fältjägaren?

These mountain cabins open as planned on February 23 and close on April 19. The summer season begins on July 1 and ends on September 22.

What’s happening at Skedbro and Rogen Mountain Cabin?

A temporary application has been submitted to and approved by the County Administrative Board for the winter season of 2024. STF has thus obtained an extension of the previous agreement to remain open as usual this winter until April 2024. Dialogue with the relevant Sami village continues regarding a long-term agreement,

What’s happening at Storulvån Mountain Station?

Storulvån Mountain Station opens as planned on February 22 and closes on April 21. The summer season begins on June 20 and ends on October 6. As STF owns the land at Storulvån Mountain Station, the accommodation is not affected by conditions according to the new ground lease agreement.

Facts about land leases on state-owned land in western Jämtland mountains and Härjedalen

The current land lease expires at the turn of 2023/2024. The lease agreement includes the mountain stations Blåhammaren, Sylarna, and Helags, but not Storulvån, where STF owns the land. Additionally, the following mountain cabins are covered: Gåsen, Vålåstugan, Stensdalen, Anaris, Lunndörren, Fältjägaren, Skedbro, and Rogen.

STFs mountain cabins and stations exist to enable mobile outdoor activities in the area and contribute to mountain safety. It will continue to be possible to purchase provisions in the shops and prepare meals in the self-catering facilities.

The number of guest nights in STFs self-operated accommodations in Jämtland/Härjedalen mountains is approximately 50,000 per year.

The land lease is granted by the County Administrative Board, but according to the Reindeer Husbandry Act, it can only be granted if it does not lead to “significant inconvenience” for reindeer husbandry. In the current mountain area, construction and facilities can only be established under the Environmental Code if they are necessary for reindeer husbandry, the permanent population, scientific research, or mobile outdoor activities.

When a new application is submitted, the County Administrative Board makes the decision. The decision-making process includes formal consultations with the “samebyar”. The County Administrative Board also owns and manages the state-owned hiking trails in the area.

Large parts of the area lack formal protection in the form of nature reserves or national parks, making it more challenging for the County Administrative Board to regulate human movement in the area. Vålådalens Nature Reserve includes some of STFs mountain cabins, and new reserve regulations have been developed by the County Administrative Board.

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