Everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy outdoor recreation in the natural environment, including activities in their local area. Examples of such recreational activities including walking, berry picking, mushrooming, and hunting and fishing. The facilitation of outdoor recreation is an important measure for improving public health.
The County Governor is responsible for safeguarding the national interest in outdoor recreation as it relates to beaches, waterways and mountain areas. The County Governor is the regional representative of the Norwegian state in its capacity as owner of the protected outdoor recreational areas.
The County Governor, the county council and the municipalities should all pay heed to the opportunities available to the general public for outdoor recreation when considering matters concerning land use. The county council may give grants to support measures that will promote participation in outdoor recreation, or that will safeguard and improve areas intended for outdoor recreation.
Hunting and fishing
All game is protected unless a statute or other specific order provides to the contrary. Hunting seasons for the various species of game are determined by the Directorate for Nature Management. However a municipality may extend or curtail the hunting season in respect of specific species. Most of the responsibility for game management lies with the municipalities, although the county council has an advisory function. The County Governor acts as the appellate body.
The County Governor has responsibility for the management of salmon and sea trout, as well as vulnerable populations of freshwater fish and fish in regulated lakes. The County Governor collects catch reports for salmon and sea trout, registers participants in sea-salmon fishing and awards grants from the national fishing fund. Supervisory activities are important for safeguarding and improving fish stocks. The County Governor keeps in close touch with landowners and hunting and fishing clubs, as well as working closely with the police, the national nature surveillance agency (Statens Naturoppsyn, or SNO) and the Coastguard as part of the effort to monitor fisheries resources.
The Directorate for Nature Management is responsible for regulating fishing in rivers and the sea, and has drawn up regulations on fishing for salmon and sea trout.
The county council is responsible for inland fishing for non-threatened fish stocks in unregulated lakes. The county council is also responsible for granting fish farming licences.