Zagros Oak Forests Under Attack of Illegal Loggers

Zagros Oak Forests Under Attack of Illegal Loggers Zagros Oak Forests Under Attack of Illegal Loggers

Local residents in Doroud County, Lorestan Province, have recently cut 10 oak trees in the protected area to use as fuel, compelling environment authorities to investigate the case.

According to Ahmad Goudarzi, the head of the Protection Unit at Oshtorankouh Protected Area, said the practice is illegal and the culprits will be referred to judicial authorities.

He explained, however, that gas or oil is not supplied to the villages of the area, Mehr News Agency reported.

"Poor fuel supply drives the villagers to cut the trees for their everyday needs such as cooking and heating," he said.  

Besides, due to the relatively high rate of unemployment, some people earn their livelihood by illegally cutting down the trees to produce coal for sale.

The provincial office of Forests, Range and Watershed Management Organization, is responsible for identifying dead, fallen, hollow and sick trees and introduce them as a source of fuel or coal production to prevent the illegal felling of healthy trees.

Goudarzi called upon the officials of the Department of Environment and FRWMO to collaborate in the protection of Zagros oak trees and woodlands since a single administration cannot do the job effectively.  

Locals' intrusion has added to other destructive factors threatening Zagros forests such as wildfires, woodworms, drought, dust storms, soil erosion and desertification`.

The Zagros Mountains forest steppe region is located primarily in Iran, ranging from northwest to southeast and roughly paralleling the country’s western border. In addition to a diversified flora, the steppe supports oak-dominant deciduous forests as well as pistachio and almond forests.


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