Surrounded by Xinglong Mountain in the east, Guanshan Mountain in the west, Nanshan Mountain in the south and Xujiashan Mountain in the north, Lanzhou is dotted with four forest parks, and Phoenix Terrace, Wuyi Mountain, Shifogou, Tulugou and other natural scenic spots.
Whether the mountains, waters, forests, farmland, lakes and grass in Lanzhou are well protected determines whether the scenery of the Lanzhou Section of the Yellow River is beautiful. Lanzhou Forestry Bureau is responsible for the protection of forests, grass and lakes in Lanzhou. On August 6th, reporters from various media in Lanzhou interviewed staff of Lanzhou Forestry Bureau about how the Bureau makes Lanzhou “greener”.
The poem “Waves Washing the Sand” written by Liu Yuxi, a poet of the Tang Dynasty, depicts the grandeur of the Yellow River and expresses people's love and fear of it in ancient times. The thick layer of silt at the bottom of the Yellow River is the underlying reason why the Yellow River has caused great damage. So conservation of soil and water is key to harnessing the Yellow River.
The 2,873,900 mu of forests along the Lanzhou section of the Yellow River help to harness the Yellow River and reduce the silt. "Ecological construction needs huge investment and takes a long time, perhaps generations, to produce the desired results. But once it is done, it will greatly promote people’s happiness. General Secretary Xi Jinping praised that ‘the shore of the Yellow River is also beautiful', which is a praise and honor to what we have done and we feel proud of that. However, at the same time, we are under tremendous pressure." Wang Liji, Party Secretary of Lanzhou Forestry Bureau, told the reporter, "The average annual amount of silt discharge of Sanmenxia Section of the Yellow River is about 1.6 billion tons over many years, and the average silt concentration has reached 35 kilograms per cubic meter of water, making it rank first among the major sections of the Yellow River. For many years, we have taken various innovative ecological measures according to local conditions, including afforestation, grass planting and greening, to enlarge the green space, increase vegetation coverage, and conserve soil and water so as to make the Yellow River cleaner.
The forestry area of the Lanzhou has been increased to 2,873,900 mu with the forest coverage rate being 15.5% and the forest stock being 4,393,000 cubic meters; This is the achievement Lanzhou Forestry Bureau made in 2019. The two national natural reserves of Liancheng Nature Reserve and Xinglongshan Nature Reserve have become “natural oxygen bars” for Lanzhou citizens. The three national forest parks of Shifogou, Tulugou and Xujiashan Mountain have become summer resorts for Lanzhou citizens. In summer, walking in the forests, you will be intoxicated by the gentle and cool breeze.
Wang Liji told the reporter that since the initiation of the "13th Five-Year Plan", Lanzhou has made overall plans to carry out key projects of afforestation, afforestation by the masses, and voluntary tree planting by the masses. Relying on the “Three-North Shelterbelt Project”, a total of 519,767 mu of forests have been planted and conserved, including 379,767 mu of artificially-planted forests, 137,000 mu of closed forests and 3,000 mu of restored protection forests through the project of returning the grain plots to forestry, the protection of natural forests, and the planting of key non-commercial forests. According to rough statistics, the annual amount of silt carried into the Lanzhou section of the Yellow River has decreased by 2.6 million tons. Since last year, Beishan Mountain in Honggu District and Dongshan Mountain in Gaolan County have been greened. A total of 126,000 mu of land has been greened throughout the year, and an ecological protective screen in the upper reaches of the Yellow River has been basically created.
In May 2019, a leopard was discovered in Lanzhou for the first time, and a black stork, a national first-class protected animal, paid a “visit” to Lanzhou New District. The appearance of various kinds of wild animals became a hot topic in many people’s WeChat Circle of Friends, and is a tribute to Lanzhou’s successful ecological conservation.
The Yellow River has “nurtured” the Chinese nation, but it often silts up, bursts its banks and changes its course. We should harness it for our benefit, or we will be harmed by it. With protecting green resources and conserving coastal water resources as its loftiest mission, Lanzhou Forestry Bureau has been improving the natural forest management and protection system, and making compensation for the ecological benefits of key national non-commercial forests.
"Strict management of forest, careful use of funds, and putting quality first" is the guiding principle the staff engaging in ecological conservation in Lanzhou have been adhering to since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China. Wang Liji said that Lanzhou Forestry Bureau had been strengthening the law enforcement of the management of ecological resources, especially the management of the 1.5 million mu of natural forests, 140,000 mu of wetlands and 100,000 mu of urban gardens and green spaces to protect the resources.
"The forest is the foundation for the survival and development of human beings and various organisms. The biodiversity, complex structure and ecological process of the forest play an indispensable role in improving ecological environment, maintaining ecological balance and protecting the environment for human survival and development." The staff of the Resources Department of Lanzhou Forestry Bureau told the reporter, "the middle and upper reaches of the Yellow River are the natural forest protection project areas of Lanzhou, and the natural forest resources in those areas play an important role in protecting water resources, conserving water and soil, regulating climate, maintaining biodiversity, reducing natural disasters and realizing sustainable economic and social development. The natural forest protection project in our city covers an area of 1,524,300 mu, and the central, provincial and municipal governments have invested over 200 million yuan in the project in recent ten years. The project implementation department has been dedicated to forest resources rehabilitation, recovery and development, and has adopted measures to protect forest resources, accelerate forest cultivation and adjust industrial structure so as to prevent the depletion of forest resources in the project areas and improve forest quality. Thanks to their efforts, the biodiversity in the project area has been promoted, forest ecological functions have been significantly enhanced, deterioration of ecological conditions have stopped, and ecological conditions have been improved. "
In August every year, the Chrysanthemum Exhibition held by Lanzhou Botanical Garden will always attracts Lanzhou citizens and tourists living in surrounding areas. Besides appreciating the chrysanthemum, visitors can stroll in the botanical garden and enjoy the beautiful scenery of Lanzhou in the shade of willow.
Lanzhou, located at the intersection of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, Inner Mongolia Plateau and Loess Plateau, is in arid and semi-arid continental climate of northern temperate zone. It has low amount of annual precipitation and high evaporation capacity, and its ecology is fragile, so it is not easy to build a garden in Lanzhou. Lanzhou Forestry Bureau has implemented the practice of “making plans of building more green space, demolishing illegal buildings to increase green space, increasing green space wherever there is room, expanding green space in a three-dimensional manner, and stretching green space by tearing down walls".
Zhang Ping from the Department of Landscaping and Greening of Lanzhou Forestry Bureau told the reporter that "Lanzhou has been expanding green space according to the local condition, and has carried out projects of central urban areas dispersion; wall demolition; green space expansion; the upgrading and transformation of the theme parks and landscape along the ‘Yellow River Customs Line'; the ecological restoration of wetlands along river courses; the construction of urban theme parks including Jincheng Park Phase II and Pengjiaping Central Ecological Park; the relocation of Lanzhou Zoo; quality and operation efficiency improvement of the surrounding scenery of ‘Xiaguanying Ecological Innovation City' in Yuzhong County; expansion and renovation of small gardens, squares and green space; and conservation and expansion of urban green space, so as to build more gardens in which flowers and grass match perfectly, the landscape is well-proportioned, the scenery varies from season to season, and the unique temperament and image of Lanzhou can be highlighted.”
During the "13th Five-Year Plan" period, Lanzhou has created and renovated 482.5 hectares of urban green space; 79 small gardens, small squares and small green space; and created 42.3 hectares of three-dimensional green space. The green space in the built-up areas of Lanzhou has covered an area of 7868.46 hectares. In 2017, Lanzhou was rated a "National Garden City".
Protect the Yellow River by creating more green space. Ecological management requires consistent efforts. The staff of Lanzhou Forestry Bureau will always promote the green development of the Lanzhou section of the Yellow River with diligence and dedication.