Mountain agriculture emerged at the intersection of the "wild economy," which focused on hunting, fishing and gathering wild plants and the agricultural based economy that is characterized by the domestication of animals and cultivation of the soil. Like other traditional systems based on pasture, the Swedish mountain systems is based on the use of inherited traditional knowledge and mountain pastures have over centuries created a very rare and rich habitat in the form of upland hay meadows. Today, both traditional knowledge and the rich biodiversity in the mountains are endangered by the implementation of modern practices that lead to a number of conflicts that go beyond the tragedy of the commons. One important source of conflict emanates from the changing role of the countryside, a role that creates expectations on farmers to deliver recreation, magnificent landscapes, new job opportunities, operate hotels , produce, cheese, maintain a cultural heritage and contribute to the conservation of native breeds . Another problem is caused by new support systems and regulations that create incentives to intensify the exploitation of summer farms by using the pastures for modern meat cattle breeds, which changes the landscape, but also makes traditional farmers upset, because of the risk of losing the traditions of summer farms.
An additional source of conflict is created by the state’s changing attitudes towards the mountain world, as the state aims to shut down all existing (state owned) leased mountain flats (fjällägenheter) by cutting down basic infrastructure. The remaining flats are located primarily in the northern parts of Jämtland. They contribute to the maintenance of a very unique flora and insect fauna. By comparing two cases, one in Klövsjö and one in the northern part of the region, this paper contributes with new knowledge about mountain agriculture, including interlocking interests, competitive activities, potentials and conflicts.