Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Illegal logging still on

Wednesday February 4, 2009

Illegal logging still on

Story and photos by STUART MICHAE

ALTHOUGH there had been concerted crackdowns on illegal logging in Selangor over the past one year, the problem is still serious as the illegal loggers will move to another site when one area is raided.

There is no end to their tricks as the illegal loggers will use all sorts of ways and alternative routes to play hide and seek with the authorities.

For example, lorries carrying timber from an illegal logging area in Selayang Murni are sneaking out at night through the residential areas in Selayang and Ulu Yam to evade the authorities.

Since the illegal logging activities were discovered at the forest land near Jalan SM 11 in Taman Selayang Mulia last year, the timber lorries had stopped using that road.

But that does not mean the logging has stopped. It is just that the timber lorries are simply exiting by another route.

The owner of the land has lodged a police report about illegal logging on his land. The illegal logging operation has ceased since, but the logging tracks are still visible after one year.

According to a resident, who stays near the site, he used to see huge 16-wheeler lorries laden with timber emerging from the jungle at night opposite his house.

Now, it is all quiet. He thinks that the lorries are using a different route and, as evidence, he pointed to the logging track visible on the hill.

When the StarMetro visited the site, other logging tracks were seen on the hill near Empangan Batu in Ulu Yam that can only be seen from the top of a hill in Taman Selayang Mulia.

According to Selayang Municipal Council (MPS) safety and enforcement director Ahmad Faisal Badiu-zaman, the MPS cannot take any action as the illegal logging activities are under the jurisdiction of the Selangor Forestry Department.

Selangor Forestry Department assistant director Mohd Yussainy Md Yusop said they needed to check the place at Selayang Murni before deciding whether it was illegal logging.

“So far, we have not caught any illegal loggers at the site. We are using a satellite tracking GPS system located at our headquarters to crack down on any activity in the forest under the Forest Reserve Land,” Yussainy said.

“From the GPS, we can track the route and where the road leads to. We placed our teams to monitor possible illegal logging sites to avoid this activity,’’ he said.

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