Na Hang special-use forest unavoidable of illegal lumberjacks?
The Na Hang special-use forest, the land of many kinds of rare and precious trees which are hundreds of years old, have been in serious danger.
A local resident said that people and local authorities have been powerless amid the deforestation. Illegal lumberjacks would be ready to “punish” those people who intend to make intervention into their works.
The man who led reporters to the forest, also advised the reporters to hide cameras and relating documents. “If they discover that you are journalists, they would cut your throat,” he said.
Here in the forest areas in Khau Tinh, Da Vi and Son Phu communes, one would see the forests in devastation. The big trees with the diameter of over one meter were chopped down, lying on the ground. There were both the trees which were newly cut, with resin leaking from the tree trunk, and the trees, which were chopped down a long time ago.
Why can the illegal lumberjacks carry the big tree trunks with the diameter of over one meter out of the forest, under the close watch kept by different management agencies?
Answering the question, raised by the reporters, local residents said that the illegal lumberjacks are very cruel who would be ready to resist against the foreign rangers. The illegal lumberjacks have been carrying timber mostly on waterways. If they are discovered, they would leave the timber and run away, or hide in the forests.
A large area of the forest was seen devastated. However, when reporters arrived, they could not see any forest ranger. No one can say that forest rangers do not know about the devastation, because the activities have been carried out in the last many years.
A local resident also said everyone knows about the devastation, because they can hear the noise from the saws and falling trees every day, let alone local authorities.
“However, no one comes to the site to discover illegal lumberjacks and punishes them,” he said.
Every local resident understands that the forest devastation would have negative impacts on the environment. Vu Dinh Tai, Deputy Head of the Tuyen Quang provincial Forest Ranger Unit, said that the water reservoir of the hydropower plant has given another tool to illegal lumberjacks to carry timbers on waterways.
However, he has warned that if the Na Hang forest disappears, the water reservoir would not be able to exist, because the deforestation would lead to the sharp fall of the water level and to other latent risks.
Nguyen The Doi, Head of the Na Hang Forest Ranger Unit, kept indifference when hearing from the reporters that the Na Hang forest has been devastated.
“I have asked my officers to strengthen the forest protection. However, the forest devastation proves to be unavoidable,” he said.
“Even in Hanoi, a crowded city, sua trees have been illegally chopped down, let alone removed from the area,” he continued.
Doi affirmed that the chopped down trees, filmed by the reporters, were just the wood of low quality, while precious timber no longer exists.
Though the forest in Tuyen Quang province has been seriously devastated, the province is still considered one of the three provinces with the highest forest coverage – 64.2 percent, just after Kon Tum and Quang Nam.