The mountainous region where forestry resources were destroyed is remote and poverty-stricken. Farmers there used to depend on forestry for more than 60 percent of their net income. The earthquake destroyed large-scale forestry bases, bringing severe damages to local forestry enterprises and reducing the income of local farmers. The disaster even transformed the terrain of the Yinchang Gully Forestry Park in Chengdu and the Qianfo Mountain National Forestry Park in Mianyang, making two precious tourist resources vanish from the face of the earth.
The quake-hit Sichuan also has to face sub-disasters in the woodlands, such as landslides, forest fires, and deaths or injuries of wild animals that could increase the possibility of epidemic outbreaks.
The damage on woodlands would affect the natural and ecological environment because large-scale landslides make it difficult for vegetation to recover on its own, said SPBF Spokesman Luo Zengbin. The main quake-hit areas include habitat for other wild animals under state first-class protection, and biodiversity conservation in Sichuan is facing a tough challenge, Luo added.
"The ecological recovery in quake-hit areas will take a long time," said Luo. "Vegetation in some mountainous regions could take two or three decades to recover, and that in some other places may not be recovered."
Luo disclosed that SPBF has drafted an eight-year plan for forestry restoration and would give priority to areas with available conditions to recover.