|A freshly cut tree trunk in Sông Tranh forest.— Photo nhandan.com.vn|Viet Nam News
QUẢNG NAM — Illegal logging is threatening the protected forest of Sông Tranh in the central province of Quảng Nam’s Bắc Trà My District, with hundred-year-old trees being felled, Nhân Dân online newspaper reported.
Dozens of old trees in Trà Bùi Commune lie on the floor of the old forest – left behind by the loggers who didn’t have enough time to ship them elsewhere.
According to reporters, illegal loggers had built camps in the forest, but authorities had failed to deal with the situation.
It is easy to see the damage that has been done to the forest. Tree stumps with diametres of 40cm dot the area and the cuts still look fresh.
Quảng Nam Province’s Forest Protection Department said it was working with Bắc Trà My District People’s Committee to send inspectors to the site.
On Friday morning, Chairman of Bắc Trà My District People’s Committee Thái Hoàng Vũ confirmed there had been over 20 old trees illegally logged in recent days. The total volume of wood was about 17 cubic metres.
According to local people, illegal logging had been going on for years but authorities had turned a blind eye to the situation.
The loggers use buffalo to pull the timber to the banks of the Tranh River where it is loaded onto boats that carry it to trucks waiting on Highway 40B.
Sông Tranh is the largest forest in the province but high demand for wood to build houses and ineffective forest management are leading to further deforestation. — VNS