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Walk into Nature
			Explore its Ecology
Walk into Nature Explore its Ecology

Forest Recreation and Nature Education

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In recent years, most people’s material life has gradually improved, which has allowed them more time to pursue spiritual contentment. Mountains and forests have always been the best option for conducting outdoor recreational activities. Therefore, the Forestry Bureau has established and integrated a network of natural trails to connect forest recreation areas, tourist attractions, and landscape areas in Taiwan. Through comprehensive software and hardware planning and the introduction of environmental education, forest resources can be used to provide the people that visit forests with quality recreational experiences by balancing conservation and recreational use.
 

◎ Forest Recreation Area

Since 1965, the Forestry Bureau has been planning and constructing national forest recreation areas, and such forest recreation areas are currently open to the public for recreational activities. In northern regions, there are Taipingshan, Dongyanshan, Manyueyuan, Neidong, and Guanwu. The central regions include Dasyueshan, Basianshan, Hehuanshan, Wuling, and Aowanda. In the southern regions, there are Alishan, Tengjhih, Shuangliou and Kenting. The eastern regions feature Jhihben, Siangyang, Chihnan, and Fuyuan. These 18 national forest recreation areas offer landscapes and ecological resources with different characteristics. The beautiful sceneries change with the seasons, offering blooming blossoms in spring, fluttering butterflies and the melody of birds in summer, red maple trees in autumn, and snow-capped mountain peaks in winter. Each year, these national forest recreation areas provide recreational opportunities to about 4 million people.
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To improve the tourism quality of the national forest recreation areas and ensure the safety of tourists, in addition to continuously upgrading and maintaining the safety of facilities, organizing regular emergency training and drills, and conducting fire hazard, health, and safety checks, the 18 national forest recreation areas have also passed the international ISO9001. In particular, Taipingshan, Dasyueshan, and Hehuanshan have acguired both ISO9001 and UKAS ISO14001 certifications and were awarded Gold and Bronze Eco-Hotel Marks, thus establishing a new standard for service quality.
To meet the diverse outdoor recreational demands of the public, as well as strengthen the environmental education functions of the national forest recreation areas, themed tourist activities are planned and developed according to the natural and cultural resources and characteristics of each national forest recreation area, which are also integrated with the local communities and industries to promote eco-tours. Furthermore, through print, electronic, and broadcast media, themed promotional activities are spread, and environmental education functions of the national forest recreation areas are strengthened. The "Taiwan Forest Recreation Website" has also been established to provide the public with a platform for information inquiries and digital learning to guide them in their recreational forest ecotourism experiences.
 
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◎ Nature Centers

Since the Regulations Governing the Establishment and Management of Forest Recreation Areas were amended in July 2005, the Forestry Bureau has officially incorporated environmental education as one of the major aims of forest recreation and thus has established eight nature centers in the national forest recreation areas, forestry culture parks, and tree banks, devoted professional human resources to this cause, conducted systematic development of programs, and integrated formal and informal education courses. All such efforts have been made to provide the following five services of school programs, themed activities, professional training, special events, and guided tours. All will be implemented in conjunction with the Environmental Education Act to form a comprehensive forest environmental education network in Taiwan. The centers have all acquired the Certification of Environmental Education Facilities and venues, and the relevant results have also won the Executive Yuan Government Service Quality Award, National Sustainable Development Awards, and National Environmental Education Awards.
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The mission of the nature centers is "learn from nature, learn with delight". With ten-year ( 2012-2021 ) visions of "more understanding of forestry" , "quality service ensured", and "to be the leader in outdoor and environmental education", the nature centers realize the core values of "protect forest ecosystem, conserve natural resources" of the Forestry Bureau.
 

◎ Nature Trail System

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In January 2001, the Council for Economic Planning and Development, Executive Yuan convened the "Discussion Meeting for the Establishment of a National Hiking Trail Network". The meeting resolution decided that the Forestry Bureau would coordinate with other relevant departments to plan for the establishment and integration of a national hiking trail system, in which the existing trails would be integrated, and the trails in various areas would be developed according to local characteristics and environmental resources. In 2006, the private sector launched the "Constructing the Thousand Mile Trails to Return to Intrinsic Values" social movement. Responding to the call, the Executive Yuan and the Forestry Bureau was expanded into the development of the national trail system. By planning the software, hardware, and trail paths in the five aspects of life circles, connectivity, transfer stations, closeness to roads, and trails, the trail system has been given new life and responsibilities.
The Forestry Bureau has completed the blueprints for both the national trail system and the regional trail system, as well as the construction of 154 trails, including Nenggao Cross-Ridge Historic Trail, Jinshuiying National Trail, Mt. Beidawu National Trail, and Lake Jiaming National Trail, to provide the public with prime locations for hiking. Furthermore, the Bureau has also stipulated the trail and introduction-sign-board design specifications and published books on the nature and history of trails, as well as map pamphlets, in order to provide tourist information in mountain areas to the public. Moreover, the Bureau has also conducted annual construction and maintenance of trails, promoted the "Leave No Trace" Program, organized trail adoption and trail working holidays, developed the national trail ecotourism, promoted ecological environment maintenance concepts, created a variety of recreational experiences, and promoted the industry development in mountain communities.
 

◎ Flatland Forest Parks

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The Forestry Bureau has been implementing afforestation and landscaping in plains since 2002. To ensure better utilization of the results, areas with an elevation below 500m, of at least 1,000 hectares, with landscape resources, with easy accessibility, and are close to other recreational locations were selected to establish three large-scale flatland forest parks.
In 2009, the Bureau selected Danongdafu in Hualien County, the Aogu Wetlands in Chiayi County, and Linhousilin in Pingtung County, to build the parks. These areas belong to the Taiwan Sugar Corporation and reflect the core values of low-density development, low commercial value, and low carbon emissions. These forest parks were then developed according to their environmental conditions and unique features into forest parks with the LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability) recreational area, wetlands conservation area, and Mt.Dawu low-altitude ecological park, respectively. Since the opening of the Danongdafu Forest Park in 2011, Aogu Wetland and Forest Park in 2012, and the Linhousilin Forest Park in 2014, the Forest Parks have incorporated local cultural characteristics and the green concepts of renewability and reusability. In addition to becoming locations for environmental education about such topics as natural ecology and local culture, the forest parks also offer the benefits of facilitating research on the evolution of plains ecology, landscape changes, wetlands conservation, and carbon exchange efficiency. By developing the creative environment industry, the sustainable development of local industries can be achieved.
 
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◎ Forestry Culture Park

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The lush, green mountain forests of Taiwan contain an abundance of forest resources, which initially established the foundation for the economic development of Taiwan. Due to the prosperity of the forest industry and the demands for woodworking and storage in the early days, many wood storage facilities and woodworking plants were built in the central urban areas and in areas near railway stations. However, in recent years, due to changes in forest industry policies and faced with the demands of urban renewal and urban development plans, cultural industries and historic buildings are no longer land simply awaiting demolition and sale. Instead, to ensure a balance between urban development plans and preservation of historic memories, "restoration of old buildings" concepts are adopted to allow the co-existence of old and new ideas, as well as to preserve the cultural assets and precious memories of Taiwan.
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Therefore, in order to preserve the history and culture of the forest industry, the Forestry Bureau stipulated the "Promotion Plan of Taiwan’s Forestry Culture Parks" in 2004 and allocated annual budgets to provide perspectives on different aspects like forest culture industries and ecological education. At the same, diverse resources are gathered through the integration of government and private resources to classify and construct park facilities. Once the plan was implemented, the forestry culture parks in Dongshi, Luodong, and Hualien were the first to be established. In 2007, in conjunction with the urban renewal plans of Chiayi City, the "Alishan Forestry Village and Hinoki Village" were established, becoming the 4th Forestry Culture Park in Taiwan. Each of the Parks has different functions and values in relation to forestry development. In the future, the Bureau will continue to develop along the four major development guidelines ‒ Luodong Forestry Culture Park will be classified as an ecological park, focused on providing the added value of "preserving the memories of the forest industry"; the Lintianshan Forestry Culture Park will be classified as a living park, focused on preserving the "Reproduction of Forestry Settlements"; Dongshi Forestry Culture Park will be classified as an industrial park, focused on developing the "Wood Crafts Center"; and Alishan Forestry Culture Park and Hinoki Village will be classified as an urban park, focused on creating "Exquisite Forestry Brands", all in order to create a new era for Taiwan’s forest industry. The preservation, revitalization, and innovation of the forestry culture is expected to attract foreign tourists and bring vitality to local tourism industries and economies.
 

◎ Ecological Education Center

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To promote the concepts and actions of natural conservation, the Forestry Bureau has developed the ecological education centers system to provide a window for the public to understand more about the natural environments and protected areas of Taiwan and has also implemented a mobile platform to facilitate local conservation efforts. The Bureau sets up nine ecological education centers in the neighboring regions of protected areas, which are Mangrove, Lalashan, Huoyanshan, Ershuei Formosan Macaque, Dawushan, Ruisui, Nanao, Alishan, and Yuanshan Ecological Education Centers. Their functions include strengthening the management of the conserved and protected areas and promotion of conservation efforts, providing such services as theme exhibitions of nature conservation, internet platforms, guided tours, film appreciation, and education before entering conserved and protected areas, conducting such activities as children camps with nature conservation themes, family activities, and volunteer training, and holding conservation courses in nearby communities, such as campus promotion, community empowerment, thematic workshops, and cooperative education.
 

◎ Travelling on the Tracks of History – Locomotive, Log Cart, and Bong- Bong Train

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The Alishan Forest Railway was built as an industrial railway during the Japanese Occupation to facilitate the extraction of forest resources. The railway had a total length of 85 kilometers and traveled through three types of forests: tropical, subtropical, and temperate. Starting from Chiayi Station at an elevation of 30 meters, the railway climbed all the way to Alishan Station at an elevation of 2,216 meters. Combining the characteristics of mountain railway, forest railway, and high elevation mountain railways, the Alishan Forest Railway has the most complex and diverse rails and is one of Taiwan’s potential World Heritage Sites. In May 1st, 2013, the Forestry Bureau commissioned the Taiwan Railway Administration, Ministry of Transportation and Communications to assist in its management to ensure the sustainable management and preservation of the railway through mutual cooperation.
To promote the Alishan Forest Railway and the beauty of mountain railways to the world, the Forestry Bureau has entered into "sister-railway" agreements with the Ōigawa Railway (Japan), Kurobe Gorge Railway (Japan), and Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn (and its subsidiary railway, Gornergrat Bahn) (Switzerland), in 1986, 2013 and 2016 respectively in the spirit of goodwill, equality, and mutual development. These agreements will integrate the resources of the parties to promote relevant cooperation and exchange.
The Wulai Log Cart operates from the Wulai Station to the Waterfall Station, with a total length of 1.6 km. The Waterfall Station also offers a "Wulai Forestry Life Museum", which places images and relics related to the log cart on display so that people can understand the history of the log cart.
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The predecessor of the Taipingshan Bong-Bong Train was the Mao-Xing Line of the Taipingshan Forest Railway. Beginning at Taiping Villa and ending at Mao-Xing Station, the line cruise through 3 km under the shade of giant trees reaching for the skies and with just a little sunlight penetrating through the canopy. As the train travels through the forest, the travellers seated in the open carriages of the train can closely experience the beautiful scenery of the never-ending mountain peaks.
Visit counts:111 Last updated on:2017-11-24