This boggy area northeast of the
glacier snout Eyjabakkajokull is one of the main breeding areas of the pink
footed goose in the world. The estimated number of breeding pairs is 7000.
According to the nearest future plans of the Energy Authority in Iceland,
this bird sanctuary is going to be flooded to create a man made lake for the
largest hydro electric power station of the country. A great number of
people has voiced its protests against the policy of the government and the
Energy Authority to spread the power stations all over the central highlands
in stead of concentrating on exploiting the partially harnessed areas fully.
Many people, especially in the eastern part of the country have supported these plans, which would probably lead to the
construction of a 480.000 tons aluminium smelter by Norsk Hydro and
other investors on the fjord Reydarfiord. In 2002
Norsk Hydro withdrew from the stage and in early 2003 an agreement was
reached with the international concern Alcoa to construct a 290.000 tons
aluminium smelter, and the government decided to abandon the idea of
harnessing the Eyjabakkar Area. Another much disputed area at
Karahnukar was selected.
Already in 2002 work at the biggest hydroelectric project in the country was
launched by the National Energy Authority to meet with the needs of the
The Eyjabakkar area is so boggy, that people claim
to have seen some reindeer vanish there. The swamps are mainly vegetated
with sedges and other plants, which thrive well under such wet conditions.
After the many branches of the glacial river, which run through this flat
area, unite, the river cascades into a canyon. The most prominent waterfalls
there are the Eyjabakkafoss and Kirkjufoss.
(Touring Association’s hut) 29 km <Eyjabakkar>
information on road conditions, see
www.road.is or call
the Road Administration Information Line (+354) 1777
HIGHLAND ICELAND SAGA