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.
The permanently-protected Mosneselva River, with its meltwater from Folgefonna, runs out into Åkra Fjord by the roadless and uninhabited Mosnes. Those who once lived here were forced to surrender to the ravages of Nature. In the autumn of 1962 there was a flood so great that the people were driven from their farms.