Since the year 2015, something like foehn weather conditions have been occurring here, resulting in rapid weather / temperature change.
The December temperatures in 2016 were on average 12.5 degrees too warm.
Long-lasting temperatures around 30 degrees minus are becoming rarer.
Our life forms have adapted to temperature fluctuations of 60 degrees per year.
Now a change of 70 degrees is up to us !
And the changes become faster. 27 degrees temperature difference in 24 hours today are no longer a rarity.
Dew periods, rain in the middle of winter let the mountain region and now also the forests ice thickly. Reindeer, elk and roe deer can't get their food any more, they can't scurry the ice away.
The red fox reaches the warmer fjell region and displaces the rare arctic fox.
Winter 2017 was too much snow (double mass than normal) which was not frozen through, very deep and this means that considerably fewer one-year-old elk have survived the winter season.
The high temperatures of the rivers in summer 2018 forced trout, arctic char and grayling, to retreat permanently to cooler lakes.
Changing water temperatures are causing the population and habitat of arctic char to shrink.
The snow melt in spring has so far led to a unique flooding of the rivers.
Ponds and puddles were created. Insects / frogs like to lay eggs at these waterholes, because they warm up quickly.
Unfortunately the snowmelt now comes earlier in the year and is interrupted by cold spells, which means we have repeated floods, and every new one washes away beginning life. We have therefore been almost free of mosquitoes in summer for two years!
As a result, tons of biomass are missing.
Also as food for the young birds. Loss of songbirds is coming up.
What the missing mosquito larvae do with the fish stocks is to be seen!
This year our swamp meadows were almost dried out - no frogs - no cranes.
These losses are almost unbearable.
These changes affect us now for the second time.
We had to give up our homeland in the German Allgäu already because of lack of snow and we offer therefore our sled dog tours since 2010 only in our new adopted home, the Fjällregion Ljungdalen, in central Sweden.
For me as a tour guide : This means that the changes in the critical zone of the Earth have a big impact on the weather and thus on the trail conditions and therefore on my tours.
Open rivers, delayed frozen lakes, rain in February, thawed valleys in March, mirror-smooth lakes, snow blown away by a storm, too much wet snow and icy trails are unfortunately not a rarity any more. This means adapting the dog team size to the conditions.
Also the load of the jump/carpal joints of the dogs and their paw cuts should not be underestimated by this trail degradation.
My tour planning is therefore more difficult from year to year.
The reliably plannable season time with the guests had to be shortened in the last years by three weeks due to the mentioned conditions.
But that is not all.
There are also the indirect consequences. The lack of snow in southern Sweden is leading to a noticeable increase in winter tourism in our region. The snowmobile tourism has grown by 20 %, sled dog tourism in Ljungdalen has increased by 50% in the last years. This leads to the fact that we have to reduce the amount of our offered tours in the high season ( i.e. week 7 and 8 ). This means that we are missing a total of five winter weeks. The drought in summer has extremely increased the risk of forest fires, and our groundwater takes up other runs, or it sinks.
But also the village of Ljungdalen is affected by the changes of the climate:
The bankruptcies of companies that live from direct tourism have now become normal. The youth sees no development and moves away.
The development of new infrastructures would be necessary, for example.
Bridges over rivers that would normally be frozen in winter but now thaw earlier,
so we lose snowmobile guests who can't reach the place anymore.
Otherwise we need parking to reach the snow regions when our valleys are already free of snow, etc.
That means a downward development of the place is expected.
To prevent the downward, we should build ecotourism !
Ingo - Guide / Helags Husky
Ecotourism - How do we do that ?
Helags Husky is a non-profit company, we do not make a profit!
We offer gentle and sustainable nature tourism
We are therefore not geared to profit maximization by large groups,
but specialized in dog sled tours with only one participant.
We also don't use any machines to trace a trail, we do that ourselves with the dog team. Thus we accept that nature gives us limits.
What do we do to become sustainable and ecological ?
Our most important contribution is to keep the number of our guests and the dog pack small. These two factors have the greatest influence on the development of ecotourism. Furthermore, there are no energy-consuming event elements, e.g. barbecue huts, tours with snowmobiles, outdoor hot tubs or yurts.
Our electricity was converted to Ököstrom.
Heating warmth by renewable raw material directly locally.
We compensate the Co2 consumption of the dog team of the tour guide with the support of the purchase of the remaining old forests of Sweden. This forest should be protected / preserved.
How will we achieve the other objectives ?
We offer our direct bookers a discount of 5% on our travel price if they travel by train or long-distance bus instead of plane.
In order to compensate for the negative effects of our tourism, we would have to charge an additional 130 Euro per person.
Then, however, we will no longer be competitive.
Therefore we rely on the voluntary payment of our guests.
One possibility is also the Co2 compensation of flying. Good compensation costs about 80 Euro per ton. This compensation payment we would like to give the preservation / protection of our forests.
Furthermore, the hidden costs for necessary infrastructure, nature consumption, interventions in the social structure of the village etc. should be compensated.
We come there on a proportionate amount of approx. 40 euro/person.
This payment would be paid to the tourist office Ljungdalen.
If you book a sled dog holiday through the tourist office, it will receive 10% of the price of the trip as a commission.
Here is the climate footprint of Helags Husky
7 weeks Husky tours per year with 7 participants
and a dog team of 13 dogs.
corresponds to approx. 19000 kg Co2 = 19 tons / year