Sat, Mar 08, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Camping, cooking banned in Yushan National Park area

YUSHAN ETIQUETTE:Visitors to the park are prohibited from camping and building campfires in areas not designated for those activities

By Chen Hsin-jen and Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

The Yushan National Park Administration has officially put camping and cooking in unauthorized locations within the park on its list of banned activities amid a growing number of violations.

People found in violation of regulations can now be subjected to a fine of up to NT$3,000.

Spanning across Greater Kaohsiung, Nantou, Chiayi and Hualien counties, the national park is home to the country’s highest peak, the 3,952m Yushan, also known as Jade Mountain, and has been a popular tourist attraction for people who are looking to enjoy nature.

It attracts approximately 1.5 million tourists per year, according to data provided by the administration.

However, a surge in tourist numbers has been accompanied by an increase in disorderly behavior by park visitors, with many pitching tents and setting up makeshift kitchens in parking spaces in the Tataka recreational area.

The administration had sought to crack down on such behavior by giving verbal admonishments, but to no avail.

It decided to amend regulations governing visitor conduct at the park at the end of last year.

Under the amendments, tourists are prohibited from camping, cooking, erecting tents, starting fires, putting up tables, making loud noises and building bonfires in parking lots or areas not designated for the above activities.

“We must clamp down on such behavior as it not only affects other tourists’ right to use the parking spaces, but also increases the risk of wild animal attacks on humans, such as by Formosan macaques,” the administration said.

The administration has designated five locations where visitors will be allowed to engage in simple cooking activities, at the 108.1km mark, the 108.2km mark and the 109.1km mark of Provincial Highway No. 18, the 129km mark of Provincial Highway No. 20 and the 132km mark of Provincial Highway No. 21.

“Visitors are allowed to cook noodles, boil water and make tea or coffee in these five locations, but barbecues are not permitted… Those who violate the new regulaions may be fined up to NT$3,000,” the administration said.

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