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. A part of this bird sanctuary was flooded to create a man made lake for the largest hydro electric power station of the country. A great number of people demonstrated and 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 Alcoa on the fjord Reydarfjordur. In the 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 flooding the whole 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 foreseeable plant. 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 floeing through this flat area, unite, and the river cascades into a canyon. The most prominent waterfalls there are the Eyjabakkafoss and Kirkjufoss.
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Photo Credit: Berserkur