Wednesday, January 20, 2010

AYER HITAM FOREST RESERVE

A friend who was with Small Hiker during the last trip to Gunung Datuk was saying that she's very interested to go to Ayer Hitam Forest Reserve in Puchong. She heard that the place has been open back to public. Small Hiker has to find out more about the news. The last time he heard, it was close and there was notice at the entrance on the closure and the penalty to those who enter the prohibited zone.

As usual, part of quest to get more information, Small Hiker login to the net and googled.

Below is the latest news that appeared in The Star on January 12, 2010:

PUCHONG residents received a New Year gift from the Selangor state government in the form of a promise not to develop the Ayer Hitam Forest Reserve.

In a New Year celebration in Puchong on Saturday morning, Selangor Tourism, Consumer and Environment Committee chairman Elizabeth Wong announced the state’s decision to abort the proposed cemetery project in the forest reserve.

Since April 2004, the residents had been fighting for the project to be scrapped so that the forest would remain a green lung.

In 2008, more than 1,500 residents from Saujana Puchong, Lestari Puchong, Bandar Bukit Puchong, Gateway Puchong and Mutiara Indah submitted a petition, protesting against the development, to the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ).

Wong described the state’s decision as a victory for the people.

“The forest reserve is rich with flora and fauna and thus should not be developed,” Wong said.

The forest is believed to have been settled by the Temuan orang asli tribe 400 years ago, and they are now living in two villages nearby.

Orginally, the forest spanned some 4,270ha, but it was degazetted for a variety of land uses over the years.

As of February 2009, 1,217ha had been gazetted by the Selangor government as an education and research forest.

Under the jurisdiction of the Selangor Forestry Department, the forest is on an 80-year lease, dating from 1996, to Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM).

Wong said the forest reserve was exclusively for scientific research and not open to the public, except with permission from the forestry department.

Nonetheless, following the residents’ demand, the state government is now looking at degazetting a part of the forest reserve for a recreational forest.

“If possible, the site should be a degraded forest.

“We’ll probably cut some trails and make it into a site like Bukit Gasing.

“But we are not going to chop down trees for this, so as not to defeat the whole purpose,” Wong said.

The orang asli, who have vast knowledge of the forest, would be invited to be part of this plan by working as guides or guardians.

Wong added that the effort in retaining the forest reserve was in line with the United Nations’ International Year of Biodiversity, which was launched on Monday in Berlin, Germany.

“It is a celebration of life on earth and of the value of biodiversity in our lives.

“We will do more this year to avert the crisis,” Wong said.

Meanwhile, the state government, through the state planners, is looking for a more suitable site for the cemetery project.


Small Hiker has to see it with his own eyes that the Forest Reserve is open to all again. So, this weekend, he'd go there alone. He's got Plan B, if it's close, he'd just proceed to Bukit Gasing!

8 comments:

azlan said...

salam,

can you please give me direction on how to go to Bukit Tabur from Zoo Negara. I'm plan to go this saturday.

-azlan-

Small Hiker said...

Drive on towards Genting on MRR2. Exit at Taman Melawati. From there, you will pass BHP Petrol and shop houses and reach a roundabout. Take a 3 o'clock turn and drive on until another round about. Here, take a 12 o'clock turn. upon reaching a T-Junction, turn to the right and another right turn immediately after that.You will pass behind some houses and big bungalows on the left until you reach the gate to the dam. Find your parking spot there!

Anonymous said...

thanks..

just came back from there. very nice & beautiful views we had there.

-azlan-

Amir Ridhwan said...

I stay in Puchong but has never been to this place since I couldn't find the access point. I only found where the entrances are shortly after the forest has been closed.

It is unfortunate that I am now unable to go there but if it means to protect the forest from unscrupulous people (like forest litterers), it's probably better this way.

Small Hiker said...

I am hoping that it will be open again soon.

pionyin said...

hey... can i know is this place open to public again? thks..

Small Hiker said...

pionyin, I am also wondering whether it's going to be open to public or not. When we went there previously, we were just trespassing!!

Anonymous said...

I also want to know when this forest will be opened to the public. A great place to hike and experience some real authentic Malaysian rainforest. The waterfalls are very beautiful. Been there before... but looks like UPM only want to close up the place for themselves.