A group of officials led by Premier Yu Shyi-kun yesterday inspected a forest in the central part of the country that was devastated by a tropical storm early this month.
The premier made a helicopter inspection of an area of Danta Forestry Area in Nantou County, which was severely damaged by Tropical Storm Mindulle.
Upon returning to an airbase in Taichung, the premier said that he was saddened to see damage in the Danta Forestry area.
He attributed the damage to over-exploitation of natural resources as well as to the disaster.
He called for soil conservation and a resumption of Aboriginal people's role as the guardians of the forests and of animal habitats, as well as the promotion of ecotourism so that Aboriginal people will be able to protect their lands and support themselves.
The premier also issued several instructions, including one not to rebuild a bridge that was destroyed during flooding caused by the tropical storm; another to convert a forest road into a mountain trail for ecotourism purposes; and another to consider whether to include the forestry region within the boundaries of a national park.
The premier asked the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, the Council of Agriculture (COA) and other agencies to implement the instructions.
Accompanying the premier on the trip were Executive Yuan Spokesman Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁), Council for Economic Planning and Development Vice Chairman Chang Chin-sheng (張景森), COA Vice Chairman Tai Cheng-yao (戴振耀) and Taiwan Forestry Bureau Vice Director Lee Tao-sheng (李桃生).
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