Screen_Shot_2014-06-06_at_8.05.44_PMBy now, we are all aware of the illegal rosewood harvesting occurring rampantly in the South and while this precious timber is sought after for its value, a small scale but significant amount of illegal logwood cutting is invading the northern region of the country. This morning, a joint operation with the Forest Department and the orange walk police landed several persons in custody pending charges for illegal logwood cutting and hunting. Our newsteam was privy to tag along with the officials to the site and filed the following report.


Dalila Ical – Reporting


At its most basic, illegal logging occurs when trees are cut, transported, brought or sold in violation of national laws. And these 32 freshly cut pine logs is testament that illegal logging is not only a battle in the south. This morning, forest department officials and members of the police department travelled to the New River Pine Ridge area, some six miles deep inside the Crooked Tree Village where the illegal harvesting was halted. The cutters had already set camp and were deep in illegal activity.


Selvin Tillett – Deputy commanding OW police


“One half mile west of the new river lagoon, the camp comprise of an old bus about six bales were found on it, a truck and tractor, inside the camp were three persons; one Mr. Rhaburn, Wayne Adolphus and Mr. Herbert Reynolds, Belizeans of Carmelita Village.  We found about 500 yards away from the camp were 32 pine lumber logs measuring from 6 to 15 feet and a total of approximately about 300 board feet, all occupants were informed of the offense.”

 

And while the illegal activity is unsustainable and harmful to the environment, it also poses threats to wildlife. These blue neck parrot species experienced loss of habitat during the harvesting of these logs.


Selvin Tillett – Deputy commanding OW police


“Belizeans of Carmelita Village, inside the camp was a cartoon box with four blue headed parrots; three with feathers and one without feathers, the occupants of the camp were informed of the offence which is against the law under the wildlife protection act, we found about 500 yards away from the camp were 32 pine lumber logs.”


Deputy commanding the OW Police Department, Selvin Tillet, says the department has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to illegal logging and hunting.


Selvin Tillett – Deputy commanding OW police


“In occasions that have been reported to us that people have parrots in capture, I just want to tell people that it is against the law to have parrots and other wild creatures without permission from the forestry department, they can have it once they have the permission from the forestry department without that is an offence.”


The men have since been charged for unlawful possession of forest produce and illegal hunting. Forest officers commented that the pine logwood were undersized. MN for CTV3 News!


The three men are residents of Carmelita Village. Police say they are working diligently and closely with the Forest Department to prosecute persons in possession of wildlife and conducting unsustain illegal logwood harvesting.

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