Iconic old Yang Na trees cut down in Chiang Mai

Iconic old Yang Na trees cut down in Chiang Mai

Only the bare trunks remain after the Chiang Mai provincial administration organisation lopped two 100-year-old Yang Na trees at a highway intersection in Saraphi district. (Photo supplied)
Only the bare trunks remain after the Chiang Mai provincial administration organisation lopped two 100-year-old Yang Na trees at a highway intersection in Saraphi district. (Photo supplied)

CHIANG MAI: An activist group has asked the Administrative Court for a restraining order against the provincial administration organisation after the PAO ordered the tops cut off two 100-year-old Yang Na trees.

PAO workers lopped the top halves off two old trees at Kong Sai intersection in Saraphi district, leaving only the ugly, bare tree trunks standing. 

Stop Global Warming Association president Srisuwan Janya petitioned the Chiang Mai Administrative Court on Thursday for an order restraining the Chiang Mai PAO and its president from cutting any more of the iconic trees along the Chiang Mai-Lamphun Road.

He  asked the court to rule that the cutting of the trees was illegal, and to order the POA not to cut down any more Yang Na trees (Dipterocarpus alatus) along the road and not to replace old trees with new, smaller ones.

The Yang Na trees had been planted during the reign of King Rama V (from 1868 to 1910) and were a Chiang Mai landmark, Mr Srisuwan said. The lopped tree trunks were an eyesore.

The Natural Resources and Environment Ministry had previously declared the road an environmentally protected area and prohibited any party from cutting the trees, he said. Violators were liable to a prison term of up to one year and/or a fine up to 100,000 baht under the environment law.

"The Chiang Mai provincial council cut off the top halves of the two trees. People are saddened by this and strongly criticise the act as an abuse of power, ignoring the history of the trees," Mr Srisuwan said.

He said the council also violated the forest law and criminal law by damaging public property. These  offences carried a jail term of up to 20 years and/or fine of up to 100,000 baht.

Mr Srisuwan said he would file a similar complaint with the National Anti-Corruption Commission.


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