The government is now investigating the lawfulness of the scheduled fee collection at the landmarks Dettifoss, Námaskarð and elsewhere on the property of Reykjahlíð, North Iceland. The land owners have announced that they will be charging ISK 800 (USD 7, EUR 5) for visiting Dettifoss, Námaskarð or Leirhnjúk, and ISK 1,800 (USD 16, EUR 11.5) to visit all three, vísir.is reports.
The chair of the land owners association, Ólafur H. Jónsson, says that they do not intend to back down from the fee collecting. The association has opened a web site, natturugjald.is where its standpoint is explained.
The Skútustaðahreppur council regrets the scheduled billing and believes that it will damage the image of the municipality. In the council’s recent resolution, land owners are encouraged to postpone the billing while the search for a comprehensive solution on a national level is under way.
Dettifoss is located in Vatnajökull National Park but the most popular route to it leads through land belonging to Reykjahlíð.
“All we can do is hope for the best and prepare for the worst,” says Hjörleifur Finnsson, Park Ranger at the Park’s northern territory. “The worst thing is if we have to lay a new walking path. We still fully believe that what they are doing is unlawful.”