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Thursday July 2, 2009

Reserve land cleared for reforestation

CLEARING work has started on 443ha of forest reserve in Rantau Panjang in Hulu Selangor as part of efforts to prepare the site for reforestation.

The site is part of the 10,000ha forest reserve in Rantau Panjang and the nearby Bukit Terak in which reforestation efforts are being undertaken to bring revenue to the state.

Instead of replanting the area with higher quality logs, the existing Acacia mangium trees will be replaced with rubber trees.

For replanting: This signboard shows that rubber trees will be planted on 443ha in Rantau Panjang, Hulu Selangor

According to Selangor Forestry Department assistant director (operations and enforcement) Mohd Yussainy Md Yusop, the trees at the Rantau Panjang forest have been there since the 1980s and the time was right to harvest them.

“In fact, the Acacia mangium trees there are supposed to be cleared every 25 years and it is now almost 30 years.

“We are sad that the habitat of wildlife in the area will be affected but, due to the price of development, we have to make sacrifices,” Yussainy said.

“It is the responsibility of the other government agencies to look into the wildlife and transport any animals that are there into another forest.

“Anyway, the monkeys in Jalan Rawang-Batu Arang are a common sight with motorists feeding them and throwing rubbish,” he said.

Massive clearing: A barren hilltop shows the clearing of the forest in Rantau Panjang, Hulu Selangor.

Yussainy was commentimg on the influx of monkeys along Jalan Rawang-Batu Arang.

In an earlier statement, Selangor state agriculture modernisation committee chairman Yaakob Sapari said the clearing of the acacia trees was scheduled to be completed by this month and it was aimed at replacing the existing trees with new trees that would be able to generate more income for the state.

He said the value of the Acacia mangium trees was about five times lower than the trees to be planted by the state.

Yaakob said the acacia trees were not the original trees from the forest and their findings revealed that the trees had been transplanted following a logging exercise.

“They have cleared the logs from the forest before planting the Acacia species which has not much value compared with the original trees. We don’t know why they did this,” he said.

All that remains: Some of the greenery has been left behind during the massive clearing operation.

Yaakob said the state had taken all measures to ensure that the reforestation exercise would not cause any harm to the environment and had also determined that the forest was not a water catchment area.

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