Forestry Department chief Boonchob Sutthamanaswong will have an urgent meeting with the Mae Hong Son governor to try to counter the problem of illegal logging in the province on Tuesday and Wednesday.
This follows a recent discovery that 150 teak trees in Khun Yuam and Mae La Noi districts have been girdled – had a ring of bark stripped from them – by illegal loggers. Part of the Yuam Forest Reserve, many of the 7 to 20-metre trees are 100 to 200 years old.
The loggers reportedly removed a 110cm-wide girdle around each of the trees – a process which eventually causes the trees to die, said Boonchob. The illegal loggers would then return to cut down the trees at a later date, he explained.
It is believed girdling makes it easier to cut down the trees, while producing drier and lighter logs for transport.
Boonchob said officials would try to find innovative ways to keep the damaged trees alive.