By Lola Omowaye
Ondo State Government has warned that there should be no form of flinching whatsoever in the Forestry both at the Forest Reserves and Free Areas across the state.
The Permanent Secretary of Natural Resources, Mr Dally Salau stressed this during an interview with The Hope, saying no flinching activity should be carried out in the forest, adding that no application has been summited and government has not approved any this year, adding that anyone caught flinching would be sanctioned.
He added that the reopening of free areas in forestry for logging activities is not a licence to enter the closed Forest Reserve and doing otherwise would attract sanctions.
To this end, allottees, free area owners, and contractors are charged to remain within the constraints of the free areas and not encroach into the Forest Reserve.
Before any activity is carried out, the contractors should get their permit and other necessary documents from the government.
His words : ‘ “We have Forest Reserves and Free Areas in forestry. The free areas belong to the individual landowners, who are protecting their lands in the forest. In order to reduce the hardship people may be encountering as a result of the closure, the Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu has graciously approved that the free areas be reopened for logging activities.
‘ However, the reopening of the free areas is not a license to enter the Forest Reserves and claim that they are in the free areas. It is not a license to do flitching. Flinching must be approved before it is done and can only be carried out in difficult terrains. This year the government has not approved a single one. So if we discover any flitching activity whether in the Forest Reserves or free areas, it is going to attract sanction. The Task Force would be more active to ensure that there is no encroachment in to the reserves and ensure that the order is enforced and obeyed’. He concluded.