Forest rangers contribute to the protection of ecological barriers in China

(People's Daily Online) 16:36, August 26, 2022

There are over 2 million forest rangers stationed in the deep mountains of China to protect forests, making their contribution to the country's drive to guard lucid waters and lush mountains.

Over the past 12 years, Liao Fuchang, a forest ranger in Huaitu township, Ninghua county, southeast China's Fujian Province, has travelled 40,000 kilometers of mountain roads to perform his duties related to the protection of forests.

Photo taken on June 10, 2021 shows the summer scenery of the forest and grassland along the No. 332 national highway in Hulun Buir, north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. (Xinhua/Lian Zhen)

"Because there are few hardened roads in the mountains, I patrol on foot, walking at least 10 km a day and wearing out many pairs of shoes during my patrol trips," reads a diary excerpt of Liao.

In 2014, Pan Weiping became a forest ranger in Jingzhou Miao and Dong Autonomous County, Huaihua city, central China's Hunan Province. During the past eight years, Pan has left his footprints in almost every corner of the forests located in mountains of the locality.

Gao Jingfang, an official from the National Forestry and Grassland Administration, said that there are over 2 million forestry rangers in China, who are on duty 22 days a month, on average.

Aside from performing patrol duties, some forest rangers also undertake the job as technicians who assist the local forestry departments with the control of forest and grass diseases and pests.

Yu Jiansun, a ranger from Shangtang township in Fuzhou city, east China's Jiangxi Province, is a technician who specializes in forest disease and pest control. In addition to performing his patrol duties, Yu has also popularized knowledge about disease and pest control among local villagers. Thanks to the joint efforts of forest rangers and forestry technicians, pine wilt disease has been effectively controlled in the locality.

Statistics show that of China's over 2 million forest rangers, 1.1 million were previously impoverished. After shaking off poverty themselves, these forest rangers have helped more than 3 million people climb out of poverty.

China has earmarked a total of 32.9 billion yuan ($4.79 billion) to support the recruitment of forest rangers from impoverished households since 2016, providing stable job opportunities for more than 1.1 million families. During the same period, the country managed to expand the coverage of forests and grasslands under protection to nearly 900 million mu (about 600,000 square kilometers), introduced Gao.

Huang Chunqin has been a forest ranger in Cangwu county, Wuzhou city, south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, since December 2018. Huang, who previously was impoverished, has seen his living conditions improve significantly after he joined the local forest protection efforts. Cangwu county has recruited 330 forest rangers, helping more than 300 households increase their incomes and secure employment.

According to Gao, forest rangers are not only guardians of forest resources, but also play an important role in implementing afforestation and land-greening projects, as well as improving the living environment for surrounding residents. .

Lan Xianhua is a forest ranger in Kengkou village, Suichuan county, Ji'an city, Jiangxi Province. He established a team consisting of local villagers, who previously were impoverished, to cultivate saplings and take care of trees grown on more than 2,000 mu of forest farms. As Lan's diary shows, in 2018, his team planted 300 mu of trees; in 2019, they planted 500 mu of trees; in 2020, they planted 500 mu of trees and in 2021, they planted 600 mu of trees. Completing the afforestation tasks assigned to them each year, Lan and his team members have made their due contribution to improving the local environment.

Recently, forest rangers in Yunle township, Jingde county, Xuancheng city, east China's Anhui Province have been busy assisting the forestry station of the township in checking the resources in 18 forest areas, in which some have detected changes by a remote sensing satellite.

"Forest rangers are like eyes and legs of the forestry station, reporting abnormal situations to us and assisting us in monitoring the forest resources. They've boosted the labor force that we can commit to the forest protection efforts," said Fu Yang, head of the forestry station in Yunle township. 

(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)


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