Jiaming Lake National Trail Will Be Closed For Three Months Next Year

Jiaming Lake National Trail Will Be Closed For Three Months Next Year
Photo Credit: Ting W. Chang@Flickr CC BY 2.0

What you need to know

Jiaming Lake is a renowned alpine lake in Taiwan that has long been a tourist attraction. Central News Agency reports, the hikers swarming in have trampled the trail into a flat barren terrain, shaving the lakeside bald. A senior tour guide of the Bunan tribe, Yu Jia-ming, indicates that the “Hero’s Slope” ought to be hiked in zigzags, but people prefer to take a straight path and the same routes, which weakens the landscape and makes it easy for the rain to erode.

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For the local environment and wildlife recover without disturbance, the Taitung Forest District Office announced that the “Jiaming Lake National Trail” will be closed from January 5 to the end of March, 2016. The whole path along with the cabins will be inaccessible.

Jiaming Lake is a renowned alpine lake in Taiwan that has long been a tourist attraction. Central News Agency reports, the hikers swarming in have trampled the trail into a flat barren terrain, shaving the lakeside bald. A senior tour guide of the Bunan tribe, Yu Jia-ming, indicates that the “Hero’s Slope” ought to be hiked in zigzags, but people prefer to take a straight path and the same routes, which weakens the landscape and makes it easy for the rain to erode.

Apple Daily reports, Director of the Taitung forest district office of the Forest Bureau Liu Qiong-lian says that many deep grooves on the Hero’s Slope are man-made and then intensified by rainfall. However, as alpine vegetation is no easy task and is easily damaged when trodden upon. Hikers naturally refrain from walking in the grooves and choose to take other paths or the two sides of the trail, which creates more grooves.

In addition, wildlife, such as the Formosan black bear, has been approaching the cabins for food more frequently. Perhaps the closing of the area next year can separate human beings and wild animals, giving breathing space for both sides. In the meantime, animals can regain their natural instincts and let the habitat recuperate without being disturbed.

Liu says the decision to close the trail was made after negotiating with several hiking and environmental communities. The national trail will be maintained when closed to the public, decreasing the probability of future hikers from coming into contact with alpine vegetation.

Being the second highest alpine lake in Taiwan, Jiaming Lake is located within the traditional Bunan tribe’s territory, and was given the name, “moon’s mirror” by the locals. Furthermore, due to the deep sapphire color of the lake, hikers call it, “the sapphire forgotten by God” and “angel’s teardrop.”

Translated by Wade Cheng
Edited by Olivia Yang

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