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From The Nepali Press
No trees



Dolakha's forests are thinning fast because of the increasing demand for timber in Kathmandu and Solukhumbu. Helicopters regularly transport illegal logs to these two high demand regions. After the Sagarmatha National Park banned logging in Solukhumbu, locals turned their timber smuggling operations in the direction of Dolakha. Jungles there became a valuable source of raw materials for the burgeoning plywood market in the Valley.

Demands for both are met from Dolakha's private, public and community forests. Nearly 60 contractors are involved in the timber-logging and supplying business and in the last four years, forests bordering the main roads have all disappeared. An illegal outfit is actively cutting trees down from the national forest. Even corridors chalked out for conservation are not spared from the axe.

Some far-sighted locals have realised that at this rate the forests will be denuded and are demanding that logging be banned in Dolakha. Even if a law to that effect is put into place, logging may not stop due to enforcement problems. Many forestry officials have not returned after the Maoists burnt down their posts. Ranger Mitra Jirel of Jiri Range flatly denies there is any timber smuggling going on. There are hundreds of logs at the Dolakha helipad awaiting loading. In the past, the police had informed the Chief District Officer about the involvement of the Dolakha district forest office in illegal timber smuggling. Tipped off, the Sagarmatha National Park seized 1,300 cubic feet of wooden planks flown in from the region.


LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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