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Illegal loggers use new reservoirs as transport routes

Update: March, 07/2012 - 09:59

HCM CITY — More perennial trees in the central province of Quang Nam have been cut down as loggers have increasingly used reservoirs near new power plants as a means of transport in the area.

The Dak Mi 4 and Song Bung 4 power plants began blocking streams in mid-January, and as a result the high levels of water in the reservoir have offered loggers ways to enter the nearby jungle.

According to a report in Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper, many gioi trees (Magnolia) with a radius of 1metre have been cut down near Phuoc Hiep Commune.

The felled trees have caused other trees to die in the lower layers of the jungle.

Loggers have even set up sawing facilities in the area to sort for quality wood before moving the logs out of the forest. Fifty-five cubic metres of perennial trees have been cut down.

Tran Lanh, deputy director of Phuoc Son Ranger Station, said the forest guards did not discover the illegal logging until the end of January because they did not have enough personnel. In addition, the station has no motorboats to travel on the waterways.

In another area near Song Bung 4, 113 cubic metres of Erythrophleum forddii trees have been cut down, including several large trees.

Ria Trao, director of the Tay Giang Ranger Station, which manages the area, said the roads leading in to the forested area belong to Nam Giang District. Trao plans to meet with Nam Giang District authorities to try to resolve the situation.

Nguyen Thanh Quang, director of Quang Nam Province's Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said local authorities should ask the management boards of these plants to ban the use of the reservoirs for transportation use.

However, boats are the only means of transport in the area because the high levels of the reservoirs have flooded several roads in the area, according to Doan Van Thong, deputy chairman of Phuoc Son District's People's Committee.

Lanh added that it was difficult to identify the reservoir managers because several parties were taking part in the management work of the reservoirs. — VNS

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