The Plan Management in Deramakot Forest Reserve
Deramakot Forest Reserve is a Class II Forest. Class II forest is a commercial forest, which is the forest allocated for logging tom supply timber and other products. This forest reserve is common with much of the lowland dipterocarp forest and this place has been logged several times for contributing to Sabah’s economy. The market value of this forest reserve is in the high range compared with the other rainforests. Thus, this forest reserve is an ideal site for developing a model for improved forest management.
Deramakot Forest Reserve is protected under Sabah Forestry Department. This forest reserve is the first natural tropical rainforest in South East Asia that is managed according to Sustainable Forest Management principles. This forest reserve has been developed based on a management system that aimed at sustainable production of timber for logged over the forest. This management system is requires substantial investments in forest planning, infrastructure, low impact harvesting equipment, and training the forest workers. This system also needs to include the managing of this forest reserve in a way that based on the natural processes for production of low volume, high quality, and high priced timber products in the market.
Based on the objectives to develop Deramakot as the forest reserve, reducing the impact of logging is one of the applications of ecologically and scientifically acceptable forest management. For reducing the logging impacts, silviculture technique is used in Deramakot Forest Reserve. Silviculture technique is a technique of removing competitive plant such as the climbing plant in the forest and this effort is taken to enhance the growth and quality development of younger regeneration of forest trees. For example, the infestation of climbing bamboo is often severe problem for tree regeneration due to the competition with the forest trees for light and nutrients. This technique allows selecting among the generation and this technique is carried out six months after harvesting operation.
Other than silviculture technique, there are also several characteristics include in the harvesting activities. The harvesting activities consist of pre-harvesting operation, harvesting operation, and post-harvest operation. The pre-harvesting operations is the activities of tree marking and preparation of Comprehensive Harvesting Plan before logging, while the harvesting operation is the directional felling, winching, and hauling of logs. Finally, the post-harvest operation includes the constructing water bumps or cross for reducing water runoff and soil erosion.
Rehabilitation is also one of the activities that have been done in Deramakot Forest Reserve. Rehabilitation or enrichment planting is a costly operation. After the harvesting operation had been done, plant will be planted annually in Deramakot Forest Reserve. The planting stock is obtained from the seeds that are mostly collected in Deramakot Forest Reserve. The principal species used in rehabilitation are the common faster growing Dipterocarp trees, such as Shorea spp., Parashorea tomentella, and Dryobalanops lanceolata. There is about 200 hectare is to be planted annually and tending of planted trees is carried out frequently for a duration of five years.
Other than that, Sabah Forest Department is selling “eco-friendly” harvested logs from Deramakot Forest Reserve as the efforts to improve the economy in Sabah. The logs were sold based on some types, such as the species of the tree. The trees were logged based on their diameter, age, and circumference of the tree. The timber was sold in different range of price, which is based on their quality. The sorted of logs based on their species and quality are allowing potential buyers to bid only for timber they were interested at a very much higher price. For example, Shorea sp. was sold for a record price of RM 1350 per m3 during May 2007.
Besides, wildlife conservation is also one of the activities in Deramakot Forest Reserve. The example of wildlife animals that can be found in the Deramakot Forest Reserve is pygmy elephant, tembadau, proboscis monkey, and also clouded leopard. Some people that are responsible to Deramakot Forest Reserve need to develop a guide to monitor and document wildlife resources and their habitat. There are five monitoring components that are being carried out in Deramakot Forest Reserve, which are the riverside, salt lick, orangutan aerial nest count, elephants, and also opportunistic sightings.