When the Etne water system was protected in 1994, preservation of the cultural landscape in Stordalen Valley was a a main objective. This is a valley with an exceptional abundance of Different types of plants and animals. In the grey alder forest in Stordalen there are more bird species than in most other places, in fact, denser than one tends to find in a tropical rainforest.
On Sunday the 29th of January, 1989, at 17:38 o'clock, Etna shook. The earthquake, with its epicentre ca. 9 kilometres south of Etne centre, had a strength of 4.2 on the Richters scale. This could be felt over large parts of West Land, especially in the areas around Åkra, Etne, Hardanger Fjord and Sauda Fjord. The earthquake was the largest that has ever been measured in Hordaland.