Viet Nam News
THỪA THIÊN-HUẾ — Ranger authorities in central Thừa Thiên-Huế Province are investigating the logging of perennial forest trees in a locally protected area.
Nguyễn Đại Anh Tuấn, director of the province’s Department of Forest Rangers, said the agency was investigating the management oversights in Phong Điền Nature Reserve that led to the cutting down of 31 rare trees in the reserve.
Earlier this month, residents living near the reserve found the remains of roots of trees that had been logged. A report by online newsite infonet.vn said that the logged trees had a diameter of at least 80cm, which proved those were perennial trees.
At the scene, several chucked timber and wood panels were left behind in the forest.
According to Đặng Vũ Trụ, director of the reserve, loggers made use of Road 71, which links the communes lying in the reserve’s buffer zone, Phong Xuân and Hồng Vân, to enter the forest area.
Trụ told the reporters that the logging had been happening since the middle of March, right after the inauguration of Road 71. “We have set up four watch huts and marked the logged site for a report after the logging.”
Trụ added that the rangers had been patrolling the sites and faced the loggers but failed to capture them.
At the logging site in the reserve’s Zone 57 and 70, a lot of the Makha tree (Afzelia xylocarpa) and Talauma wood (Talauma hodgsonii) were logged down.
Tuấn of the ranger department said strict penalties would be imposed to deter violators in the reserve.
He also pledged more rangers to the sites to prevent similar logging.
Phong Điền Nature Reserve was formed in 2002, covering 42,000ha of primary forest in the district. The forest is key to biodiversity and water management, as its area includes the upper parts of Bồ and Ô Lâu rivers in Thừa Thiên-Huế and Mỹ Chánh River in Quảng Trị.
The reserve also works as an extended habitat to two International Union for Conservation of Nature’s critically endangered species of saola and Asian tiger. — VNS