KUALA ROMPIN: At least a third of Lesong’s forests have been deemed as poor in timber quality – the reason the Pahang government says it is allowing it to be logged before being replanted.
Pahang Forestry Department director Datuk Mohd Paiz Kamaruzaman said these poor quality forest areas would be converted to timber plantation sites.
“Part of the Lesong forest reserve is considered poor based on its standing volume composition (referring to how much wood in the trees can actually be sold).
“Hence, a decision was made by the Pahang state government to convert part of Lesong that is poor in standing volume composition into commercial timber plantations,” he told The Star via e-mail.
Some 3,000ha of forest, he said, had been earmarked for forest plantation development and licensed for logging as at the end of July this year.
This area comes under a much larger 16,896ha area designated by Pahang as industrial timber plantation since 2012 and is termed a “degraded” forest.
A second 16,958ha area has been marked as production forest, where it would be managed according to “sustainable forest management principles”.
The remaining 32% of Lesong would be protected. Lesong’s total area is 52,464ha.
“The whole 16,896ha of Lesong that have been designated for forest plantation can all be classified as degraded or poor forest,” Mohd Paiz said.
He added that once these approved plantation sites were logged, they would be replanted with commercial timber trees and rubber trees, among others.
They would also meet the demand of domestic timber processing industries, he said.
He said the area chosen to be developed as a forest plantation was considered easily accessible and its terrain was suitable for conversion to oil palm and other agricultural activities.
When asked about concerns that wildlife habitats would be at risk due to the logging, Mohd Paiz said the placement of the sites did not form a single whole block and that natural forests in the area would still be retained.
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