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A camping craze has swept through Taiwan in recent years. Camping lovers call each other Lu-you (camping buddies) and the campsite owners also have special nickname, Ying-zhu (owner of the camping sites). But it is said that camping lovers abuse the electricity and are loud on camping grounds while the site owners overly receive customers and over-exploit the hillside, which even endangers the safety of campers.

Chen Mao-rong, organizer of the Facebook page, Camping Crazy, says that the camping trend in recent years has rose regardless of seasons because people invite more campers one by one. Camping Crazy only launched in the middle of last year and has already attracted over 100 thousand people to like the page.

UDN reports, Fu Guang-yi, owner of a design company, says that the owners of camping sites can make money just by providing a piece of land. So it is common to see them chopping down trees and bulldozing orchards to plant grass over the land as new camping sites.

Landowners have illegally rented out tents to mountain climbers near the trails around Jiaming Lake, Taitung. It used to be covered with grassy meadows but has now become withered and yellow, even seeing floods when it rains. This is all because of camping.

The national trail around Jiaming Lake reopened on April 1. Deputy Director of Taitung Forest District Office Liu Qiong-lian says, after a more than three-month closure of the mountain, several mountain management measures have been implemented simultaneously, including camping site planning, control of the number of visitors, service charge, building emergency medical systems, giving feedback to aboriginal tribes and so on. The purpose of the management measures is to protect the traditional areas of Bununs and wildlife habitats to allow sustainable use of natural resources.

Shi Sheng-lian, CEO of the Camping Association of ROC, says that the regular camping population was around 200 or 300 thousand about 10 years ago. Recently this number has doubled to at least 2 million, not including camping on school campuses.

Translated by June
Edited by Olivia Yang