Sunday June 22, 2008 The StarOnline, Malaysia
Kedah to use heli-harvesting
By SIRA HABIBU
ALOR STAR: The Kedah Government is going ahead with its plan to allow selective logging in the Ulu Muda catchment areas using the heli-harvesting technique.
Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azizan Abdul Razak, however, assured the public that the catchment areas would still be preserved because only selective logging to remove decaying trees would be allowed.
“We will be using the heli-harvesting technique to remove the decaying old trees that are more than 100 or 200 years old.
“That means we will only be removing a few trees every hectare,” he said.
He said Kedah had no other choice as it had to cope with rising expenditure.
“We are desperate to increase the revenue to make ends meet as the Federal Government is not keeping its promise to pay RM100mil annually in compensation for sparing the catchment areas,” he said.
Azizan said this in response to objections from various quarters against the state’s plan to carry out logging activities in catchments.
Azizan said the state need not carry out selective logging in reserved forests covering 122,000ha if the Federal Government fulfilled the promise made in 2003 to pay RM100mil a year as compensation for preserving the catchment areas.
The Federal Government had paid the money once when Datuk Seri Syed Razak Syed Zain was mentri besar, he said.
On calls by Sahabat Alam Malaysia for the Penang Government to pay compensation to Kedah for preserving catchments that are crucial to ensure continuous water supply to Kedah, Azizan said they would appreciate it if Penang contributed.
“But it is not our intention to disturb Penang and Perlis that are dependent on water sources from Kedah,” he said.