|Dozens of trees were illegally felled in the protective forest in Bạch Thông District, Bắc Kạn Province. — VNA/VNS Photo|
BẮC KẠN — Police in Bạch Thông District, Bắc Kạn Province have reported that they are rushing to file prosecution documents against people involved in recent incidents of illegal deforestation.
Nearly 60 trees were chopped down in the protective forest in the area between the district's Sỹ Bình and Vũ Muộn communes, vietnamplus.vn reported.
Rangers also found many trees which cut into small pieces in streams and at the forest's edge.
This is considered the largest ever destruction of natural forest land in the district.
According to Trịnh Vũ Ngàn, head of the district police, three of the 15 people who have been summoned in the case are local officials.
The case was kept secret from commune authorities and forest rangers. Many locals knew about the situation but were afraid to denounce the offending parties, the newspaper reported. As a result, the deforestation continued unchecked for a long time.
Triệu Văn Tuệ, a forest ranger in charge of Sĩ Bình Commune, explained that his unit holds regular checks but had not yet patrolled the damaged area, so they did not know about the deforestation.
He also said the patrol system was ineffective because each ranger was in charge of protecting more than 2,000sq.km of forest.
The deforestation was the fault of local forest rangers, said Nguyễn Hữu Thắng, head of Bắc Kạn Forest Protection Department.
Head of Vũ Muộn Commune also admitted the situation was partly due to poor management. — VNS