Posted: Saturday, August 26, 2023. 9:01 am CST.
By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: On August 25, 2023, Barton Creek residents, Peter Sherk and Bernhard Martens, were apprehended by the Belize Forest Department for possession of illegal timber.
During the inspection, officers discovered 9 chainsaw-cut mahogany flitches, equivalent to 680 board feet, and an additional 51 pieces of mahogany-sawn lumber, estimated to be 475 board feet. The cumulative lumber amounted to 1,115 board feet.
Neither Sherk nor Martens had an authentic permit issued by the Forest Department. Consequently, Sherk faced a charge and was slapped with a fine of $4,900, with the confiscated timber handed over to the Forest Department.
Highlighting the paramount importance of forest preservation, the Forest Department is urging citizens to stay vigilant and report any dubious activities linked to illegal logging or wildlife trafficking. The department stated, “The onus of conserving our forest resources is a joint responsibility. The community’s vigilance is essential in ensuring the safety of our forests.”
Affirming its dedication, the Forest Department emphasized its commitment to robustly enforce regulations to shield Belize’s forests and maintain the biodiversity that makes the nation distinctively rich.
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