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Title: Evaluating nature and wilderness in Iceland

Author: Thorhallsdottir, Thora Ellen;

Date: 2002

Source: In: Watson, Alan E.; Alessa, Lilian; Sproull, Janet, comps. Wilderness in the Circumpolar North: searching for compatibility in ecological, traditional, and ecotourism values; 2001 May 15-16; Anchorage, AK. Proceedings RMRS-P-26. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 96-104.

Publication Series: Proceedings (P)

   Note: This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document

Description: Iceland is sparsely populated with towns and farms mostly restricted to coastal lowlands. The country’s ca 50,000 km2 (19,000 mi2) interior is an uninhabited highland with isolated mountains and large glaciers. At present, only a small part of Iceland’s rich geothermal and hydroelectric resources have been harnessed, but if political commitments to largescale hydroelectric projects are realized, they will transform the central highland wilderness. Over the last 3 years, opposition to these plans has fueled the most bitter environmental conflict yet to arise in Iceland. To reduce such conflicts and for a balanced, long-term approach, work toward a Master Plan for Hydroelectric and Geothermal Development was initiated in 1999. Four workgroups will evaluate up to 100 potential projects for (1) environmental impacts, (2) impact on land use, (3) regional and social consequences, and 4) technical and economic aspects.

Keywords: biodiversity, tourism, wilderness, conflict, collaboration, culture, traditional ecological knowledge

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Thorhallsdottir, Thora Ellen. 2002. Evaluating nature and wilderness in Iceland. In: Watson, Alan E.; Alessa, Lilian; Sproull, Janet, comps. Wilderness in the Circumpolar North: searching for compatibility in ecological, traditional, and ecotourism values; 2001 May 15-16; Anchorage, AK. Proceedings RMRS-P-26. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 96-104.

 


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