Old nghien (Burretiodendron hsienmu) trees were chopped down. Hundreds of planks of wood lay on the ground. If the devastation is not stopped, the nghien forest in the Ba Be National Park will disappear shortly.
Loggers arranged a network of ‘barn-owls.’ These people will immediately inform loggers whenever forest rangers appear.
The nghien forest in Ba Be National Park in the northern province of Bac Kan has been illegally exploited in many years. However, the devastation has become serious in the last couple of years, when the price for nghien wood rises highly.
After nghien trees in the buffer zone were all cut down, loggers have entered the core zone of the national forest to seek ancient trees.
Despite forest rangers’ stations, ancient nghien trees have been cut down.
VietNamNet’s Hoang Sang took these photos in the core zone of Ba Be National Park in early June 2012.
To get into the area where loggers were operating, VietNamNet’s reporters had to disguise themselves as local men.
A nghien tree that was just chopped down.
Loggers did not collect crack trees.
Planks of nghien wood.
Loggers can take down an ancient nghien tree within ten minutes.
Nghien trees are split into planks of 20-30cm thick. Each plank of wood is priced VND800,000-VND1 million ($40-50) in Lang Son. But in neighboring communes of Ba Be National Park, the price is only VND230,000-280,000/plank.
Planks of nghien wood in Coc Toc village.
Ash left by loggers amid the forest.
Nghien trees seized by rangers of Cho Don station.
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