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Forest rangers in Lhoka Prefecture of Tibet

By Can Cai (China Tibet Online)

08:48, May 28, 2013

The babbling river flows across the forest. [Photo/China Tibet Online]

Driving for half an hour on the winded mountainous road after crossing a viaduct ten miles outside the Nang County of Lohka Prefecture of Tibet Autonomous Region, there is a Gongzirong primitive forest with a mountain path stretching for several dozen miles from the foot to the top.

The green Yarlung Zangbo River flows through the forest. Cypress trees erect on both banks as if they are listening to the gurgling sound of the river.

When we met Tashi, he was checking provisions and ready to go forest patrol. Tashi is a villager from local Damu Village and he is also a forest ranger. He said that there are altogether six rangers in this forest and all of them are from Damu Village and Hejiang Village nearby. Villagers take turns to serve as forest rangers.

Exuberant and varied species of fauna and flora can be found in this forest such as the pine tree, cypress tree, peony flower, deer, wild boar, monkey, brown bear and black bear.

Every morning, Tashi and the other five rangers would patrol their own assigned areas several times to prevent such hidden risks as forest fire and illegal hunting.

Tashi said that rangers have made all-out efforts to protect the forest since they were motivated by villages to serve on a voluntary basis ten years ago. Since then, no incidence of wild fire has been caused and wild animals have been effectively protected.

It takes energy and stamina to be a forest ranger and days in the mountain can be quite vapid. The only entertainment facility available is a radio allocated to each member. But they love the job as they say they enjoy the comradeship and companionship.

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