Tag Archives: Nordenskiöld Land National Park

A TRAFFIC BAN WHEN THERE’S LITTLE TRAFFIC? Governor again proposes closing popular snowmobile areas to motorized access; angry locals say reasons and impact are sickening

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Closing some of the most popular snowmobiling areas surrounding Longyearbyen to motorized traffic this year to protect wildlife hunting and breeding areas is again being proposed by The Governor of Svalbard, similar to closures enacted for the past three years.

Except this year there’s an epidemic of protests due to a huge and obvious difference: the amount of traffic is likely to be drastically lower due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has already decimated tour operators for the past year without even more hardships being piled on due to access restrictions.

The affected areas (see maps below) are Billefjorden, Tempelfjorden and Van Mijenfjorden, including Rindersbukta and Fridtjovhamna. The deadline to submit comments to the governor is Tuesday.