A large number of pine trees at a forest in Lam Dong Province, located in Vietnam’s Central Highlands, have been chopped down and burned, with authorities stating that the culprits were trying to encroach on forestry land.
The management board of Lam Ha Forest in the namesake district confirmed on Thursday that many pine trees had been destroyed over the past few months.
The culprits chopped down the trees to encroach on land for forestry and occasionally set the forest on fire to erase any sign of their illegal logging, the board continued.
Trees in the forest are used for the production of paper at Tan Mai Company, it added.
|The forest section is destroyed in Lam Dong Province, Vietnam. Photo: M.V. / Tuoi Tre|
The most recent deforestation took place at around 11:00 pm on February 26.
Authorities in Nam Ban Town, Lam Ha District, in coordination with Tan Mai Company, tried to apprehend the suspects, but they managed to flee the scene as some of them were in charge of keeping watch.
Officers found an excavator at the scene, along with 41 felled pine trees.
The trunks of these pine trees were cut into small logs and brought to a coffee plantation about 20 meters from the scene.
|Pine trees are felled at Lam Ha Forest in Lam Dong Province, Vietnam. Photo: M.V. / Tuoi Tre|
After authorities took the excavator out of the forest, the culprits returned to the location at around 4:00 am on February 27 to burn the pine logs.
Competent authorities later concluded that the deforestation had affected more than 1,300 square meters of the forest.
They also discovered a new trail that leads to the affected forest section.
Two similar cases also occurred at the forest section in January and February, affecting nearly 100 pine trees, which were about 20 years old, in an area of more than 1,400 square meters.
|A new trail leading to the affected forest section. Photo: M.V. / Tuoi Tre|