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Gotska Sandön national park

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One of the original nine national parks of Sweden designated by the government in 1909, Gotska Sandön national park, located in Baltic sea north of Sweden's largest island Gotland, has been expanded two times, in 1963 and in 1988. The island national park covers an area of 44.9 square kilometers (17.3 square miles), including 8.4 square kilometers (3.3 square miles or 2.5 square nautical miles) of water.

An isolated island smack in the center of the Baltic, Gotska Sandön is a windswept, shape-shifting outpost of sand ("Sandön" means "the Sand Island"), pebbles and rocks. A weathered forest of pine trees is scattered across the dunes. Humans have constantly inhabited the island since prehistoric times, and in the 17th and 18th centuries, sheep farming was conducted here, which later expanded to agricultural exploitation and cattle-raising.

Access is by boat tours from the mainland and from Fårö, an island near the northern tip of Gotland, or by private boat (for which permission is required), but there is no port on the island. One can stay overnight in tents in the designated area or in one of the dormitories or cabins, but all lodging must be reserved prior to the trip regardless of the means of transportation, and an overnight stay is recommended to make it worth the trip. Trails cross the island northwest to southwest and northeast to southwest as well as along the northern, western, and southern shores. Facilities are mainly located on the northwest tip of the island.

At the time of writing, there are six cabins with a kitchen and two rooms each with room for four people in each room (bunk beds) at a cost of 600 SEK (roughly one tenth in USD or EUR). There are six cabins with the same setup but room for two people per room for 450 SEK. A building with two dormitories houses a total of 20 people in single beds for 110 SEK per person. Bringing a tent is the cheapest option at 50 SEK per person. Cheaper rates for children accompanied by parents are available except in cabins.

Keep an eye open for beetles, which thrive here. The farming of earlier times is now gone, and toads and hares are now among the largest animals beside a small colony of seal. Note that the seals' habitat, marked on maps of the area, is not to be entered at any time of the year. Surprisingly, there is a rather rich flora in this harsh environment.

Following is a translation of the conditions governing Gotska Sandön national park. I am neither a lawyer, nor a translator. This is for educational purposes only. Do not blame me if you get in trouble, yada, yada. The conditions translated into the text below apply only to Gotska Sandön. Other national parks have other conditions specified for them.

The public notice with conditions regarding GOTSKA SANDÖNS national park; SNFS (1987:19)

Last introduced change 1990:8 (Reprint)

Supported by 4 § of the national park ordinance (1987:938), the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency announces the following conditions for the national park according to 5 § second section of the environmental protection act (1964:822).

Within the national park it is forbidden to

The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency can - if special circumstances are present - announce exceptions from given restrictions.

Further, it is prohibited without the permission of the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency to

Without hindrance by the above prohibitions, it is permissible

Passing into law

SNFS 1987:19

This public notice will pass into law on January 1, 1988.

SNFS 1990:8

This public notice will pass into law two weeks after the day the notice according to information stated on it is released from printing. (Released from printing June 29, 1990.)

Through this public notice, the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency's public notice (SNFS 1982:1, NV:8) regarding denied access in certain areas of the Gotska Sandön national park is nullified.

Information synthesized from www.environ.se and www.resestugan.se.

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