Openness, Transparency, Service - Forestry Bureau Meets the Needs of Hikers

    Su Tseng-chang, President of the Executive Yuan, announced the "open mountain" policy at the "Paying Tribute to the Mountains, Presenting Gifts to the Hikers" press conference today (21st). It was announced that apart from the areas of national security and ecological conservation, the open policy will be applicable in general to comprehensively enhance the hiking environment in Taiwan. The implementation plan decided by the Executive Yuan includes a number of open mountain and forest measures actively promoted by the Forestry Bureau of the Council of Agriculture over the past two years.
Reduce Non-Essential Forest Road Control
    Since 2017, the Forestry Bureau has been inviting hikers to provide suggestions, and has gradually reviewed the management and service measures of forest roads and trails. Collaboration has been formed with mountaineering groups to conduct forest patrols to jointly combat illegal logging. From July 2018, the 81 forest roads covering a total linear distance of 1,646 kilometers under the jurisdiction of the Forestry Bureau are now open and freely accessible to hikers. This does not include the Xishishan forest roads and the Yunshan forest roads in the Shei-Pa Forest Reserve and the Yunshan Nature Reserve, as well as the forest roads in other national parks and the forest roads in the mountain controlled areas. It will still be necessary to apply for relevant entry permits in accordance with the law in order to access these areas.
Management Concepts that Take into Consideration the Conservation and Hiking Activities
    As for the various Forest Reserve areas under the Forestry Act, Cultural Heritage Preservation Act, and Wildlife Conservation Act, since they are ecologically sensitive areas, it is still necessary to apply for an entry permit in order to implement the carrying capacity control. However, after the integrated coordination of the Forestry Bureau together with the Taiwan Forestry Research Institute, Veterans Affairs Council, and the various county and city governments, the application deadline that originally required the submission to be made 14 to 15 days in advance will now be shortened to 5 days. The change is effective from October 1.
    Under the jurisdiction of the Forestry Bureau, the Shei-Pa Forest Reserve, which covers an area of 20,800 hectares, overlaps with the ecological protected areas of the Shei-Pa National Park. As a result, the Forestry Bureau will also coordinate with the Shei-Pa National Park headquarters for the joint handling of the entry permit application. In the future, hikers who wish to climb the 12 peaks of the 100 Peaks of Taiwan in the protected areas, such as Dabajian Mountain, will no longer need to apply to the forest district office and the national park separately.
Enhance Hiking Facilities and Improve Service Quality
    The overall improvement and renovation plan for the five mountain cabins under the jurisdiction of the Forestry Bureau will also commence. The preliminary renovation of the Jiujiu Lodge, Tianchi Lodge, and Guigu Lodge has been planned to be completed by the end of this year. By 2023, the overall renovation of mountain cabins including Jiujiu Lodge, Guigu Lodge, Xiangyang Cabin, Jiaming Lake Cabin will be completed. In addition, the renovation and maintenance of the 60 trails and the maintenance of sign markers will be completed. Assessment is also underway for the construction of additional mountain cabins along the popular mountain trails.
    In order to make it more convenient for international and local hikers to apply for accommodation in the mountain cabins, in addition to the credit card online payment (or refund), the minimum number of accommodation stay applications has been reduced to one person. The application period for the mountain cabins is also unified with the application system of the National Park Mountain Cabins, and the application will be accepted 2 months before the check-in date. Another 12-18 beds will be reserved daily, and international visitors can apply from 4 months before the check-in date. This change facilitates the travel arrangements of foreign hikers.
Hiking Information Transparency
    Hikers can now look up information on the 152 nature trails and maps maintained and managed by the Forestry Bureau on the "Taiwan Forest Recreation" website. At the same time, information on the forest road conditions and illegal logging high-risk areas is synchronized and available on the Government Open Data Platform and the Taiwan Geospatial One-Stop Portal (TGOS) for the use of the public. In addition, the Forestry Bureau also cooperated with mobile communication operators to complete indicator signs for the 463 mountainous areas with communications signals, and cooperate with the online community to mark the mobile phone electronic map (Taiwan TOPO) for free use by the hikers.
    The Forestry Bureau has also improved the mountain cabin application and application for entry into the nature reserve areas by integrating them into an application system. It also introduced the integrated information network developed by the Construction and Planning Agency and will continue to expand its functions. It will link to the new one-stop service website starting from November 1.
Listening to Hikers' Opinions, Continuing to Optimize Forestry Management
    The Forestry Bureau is the competent authority for forest resources and nature conservation in Taiwan. In addition to ensuring the multi-service value of forest ecosystems, the Forestry Bureau will actively share the benefits of forest ecosystem protection with all citizens in a reasonable, fair, and sustainable manner. With the popularization of hiking education and the promotion of self-regulation of mountain climbers, we hope that mountain activities will no longer be an opposing force to ecological conservation. Let us all promote the sustainable development of mountaineering activities with a more open and trusting attitude.
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Visit counts:494 Last updated on:2020-10-24