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Forest may be fenced up to protect plant species

Sunday June 5, 2005

Forest may be fenced up to protect plant species

CAMERON HIGHLANDS: The state government is looking into setting up a gated fence at the entrance to the famous Gunung Brinchang mossy forest here. 

State Culture, Arts, Tourism, Heritage and Women’s Affairs Committee chairman Datuk Maznah Mazlan said the move, if approved, would help protect the forest reserve, which was prone to indiscriminate harvesting of its unique flora.  

UNIQUE MOUNTAIN: Visitors trekking through Gunung Brinchang in Cameron Highlands on Friday. — STARpic by ZABIDI TUSIN
She said commercial harvesting was a widespread problem with wild orchids, pitcher plants and herbs, which once thrived in the area, disappearing. 

“We must preserve the natural heritage of the mossy forest because people expect to enjoy the uniqueness of these plants here.  

“People have been detained for removing plants but this has not curbed the problem,” she told reporters after visiting the forest on Friday.  

She would submit the proposal to the Forestry Department to build the fence, making it possible to control the flow of visitors. 

The characteristic of a mossy forest, or cloud forest, is persistent, frequent or seasonal cloud over vegetation level. 

Maznah said a similar system was successfully implemented at the Sungai Pandan forest reserve and the Endau-Rompin state park.  

She said Gunung Brinchang was especially important because it was one of the most accessible mossy forests for tourists. 

According to the Regional Environmental Awareness of Cameron Highlands, it is the oldest mossy forest in the peninsula, dating back 200 million years. 

Gunung Brinchang was the site for the movie Puteri Gunung Ledang.  

Pahang Tourism Action Council general manager Junus Suhid said the Tourism Ministry had allocated RM50,000 to upgrade tourism facilities at the mossy forest. He said a boardwalk, signboards, rubbish bins and parking bays would be built by the end of the year.  

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