Green drive scales new peaks
BEIJING, May 8, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- This is a news report from China Daily:
While city folk flock to zoos or animal parks for a glimpse of wildlife, the threats posed by predators such as snow leopards, wolves and brown bears are a daily fact of life for 41-year-old forest ranger Zhao Hongshang in the Qilian Mountains in northwestern China's Qinghai province.
His base, Qiqing forest station, sits at an altitude of 2,900 meters and is the highest forest station in Qilian Mountain National Park－one of China's first 10 pilot national parks.
Work on the parks started in 2015, with the aim of further protecting local ecosystems and wildlife.
In August 2018, a pack of wolves chased Zhao and his colleague Ma Xu for about 5 kilometers while they were patrolling the forest on a motorbike. The wolves sprang from a hill beside their route and followed the two rangers for more than 10 minutes, with the chase ending when a truck approached.
"We jumped off the motorbike and rushed into the truck," Zhao said. "We were surrounded by 11 wolves. That was very scary. The driver hit the horn for a long time. We kept yelling at the wolves and finally scared them away.
"The experience was life-threatening, but sweet to me. I've been working as a forest ranger for nearly two decades. For me, nothing could be better than seeing the land I've protected become greener and home to more wildlife."
The construction of the national park, part of China's comprehensive strategy of improving the environment and achieving the goal of ecological civilization, has boosted animal populations and biodiversity in the Qilian Mountains, which lie on the border of Qinghai and Gansu provinces.
In August 2019, President Xi Jinping, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, stressed the importance of the ecological protection of the Qilian Mountains.
"The Qilian Mountains are a vital shield for ecological security in the western part of China," he said. "This is a positioning in the national strategy."
Xi made the remarks at a horse ranch during an inspection tour of Gansu, when he also expressed satisfaction with the effectiveness of nature conservation work in the area.
Qilian Mountain National Park covers 50,200 square kilometers－68 percent of which lie in Gansu－and features forest, grassland, desert and wetland landscapes.